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Mersing to be hub for agro-food projects

Mersing to be hub for agro-food projects

29 Dec 2021

Mersing is set to emerge as one of the leading districts in Johor involved in agribusiness activities with two major agro-food projects in the state.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the two projects were the Jemaluang Dairy Valley and Endau-Mersing Fish Processing Park.

He said the projects were in line with the initiatives outlined under the Johor Budget 2022 which was tabled on Nov 18.

“Mersing has the right ecosystem for improving food security and further developing agro-food production in the state,” Hasni said after chairing the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) meeting in Kota Iskandar, Iskandar Puteri.

Also present at the meeting were the council’s chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat and members of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Implementation and Coordination Committee Johor.

Hasni said work on the dairy valley would start this month following the signing of the cooperation agreement between ECERDC, the state government and the State Secretary Johor Incorporation on Sept 18, 2021.

He said the project was slated for completion in December 2023, while the appointment of the holding company to manage the project would be finalised in June 2022.

“Once fully operational, the project is expected to produce about 5.1 million litres of fresh milk annually and boost the national milk production by 11%,” said Hasni.

He said work on the fish processing park was now 53% complete, adding that the project would rejuvenate Mersing’s fisheries sector.

Hasni said the project would provide a platform for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to produce value-added downstream fish-based products.

Meanwhile, Baidzawi said ECERDC was looking forward to rolling out the second phase of ACES I4.0 Web App programme in Johor to support the state’s digitalisation efforts.

He said the Web App which was developed by Asia Centre of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES) would be extended to an additional 3,000 secondary school students in Mersing, Segamat and Kota Tinggi.

“It is an interactive learning application to provide exposure and knowledge on the concepts and advantages of Industry 4.0 technology to students, its social impact and future careers in the various related fields,” said Baidzawi.

ACES is a joint initiative of ECERDC, TUM International, a subsidiary of Germany’s top Technical University of Munich.

He also said that ECERDC had implemented various projects to boost tourism in Mersing such as the Tanjong Penyabong Waterfront development project.

Baidzawi said the project received “Special Commendation Government (Public Space)” at the Placemaker Awards Asean (PPA) on Nov 21, organised by PPA and Nextdor Property Communications.

He said the award was given in recognition of the project’s impact as a public space that caters to the community’s needs.

Baidzawi said work on the Kampungstay project in Air Papan — consisting of 10 chalets, a multipurpose hall and two restaurants, as well as the upgrading of homes to promote community-based development — was expected to be ready next May.

“The project will enable local houseowners to earn an income by providing a kampung stay-experience and other tourism-related services, including guided tours,’’ he said.

Baidzawi said another ongoing project was the construction of the PETA Rainforest Discovery Centre in Endau-Rompin (Johor) National Park.

“Once completed in April 2023, this new tourist attraction is expected to create job opportunities in the tourism industry for locals, especially the Orang Asli in the area,” he said.

Baidzawi said a Cabinet meeting in October had approved the proposal paper to include Segamat district as part of the ECER and is expected to be tabled in Parliament in March 2022.

Under the ECER Master Plan 2.0, Segamat is envisioned as a Bio-Agro Valley focusing on agro-based industries, including durian plantations, aquaculture and dairy farming.

“The district tourism industry, and small and medium industries sector will stand to benefit from our long-term socio-economic development plans,” he concluded.

Source: The Star

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