NCIA to facilitate development of state-of-the-art integrated dairy farm project in Chuping
29 Mar 2022
The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) shall facilitate the development of a talent ecosystem to cater for the development of a large-scale, state-of-the-art integrated dairy farm project in the Chuping Agro Valley of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) Agri Economic Zone (NAEZ).
The project that would be undertaken by FGV Holdings Bhd, FELCRA Bhd and Qatar’s largest food and dairy producer Baladna QPSC may come to fruition following the signing of a memorandum of collaboration (MOC) between the three parties in 2019.
The NCIA, in a statement said, it will also customise favourable tax incentives, and provide the necessary platforms for technology transfer to smoothen the project.
It said a feasibility study for the project has been commissioned by the collaborating parties and targeted for completion by June 2022 and production is expected to commence in 2024.
Underscoring the importance of the project, NCIA chief executive Mohamad Haris Kader Sultan said once the operations in the Chuping Agro Valley, Perlis are in full swing, the project would be on track to establish itself as the largest dairy hub in ASEAN.
“There is a critical need for quality fresh milk to be produced locally to benefit the country’s trade balance through import substitution, and thus influence the value of the nation’s foreign currency exchange while providing people with affordable, nutritious fresh milk for the growing young population of the country,” he said in the statement.
Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, in a statement on Tuesday, said building on this strategic collaboration, the project provides immense opportunities for Malaysia and Qatar to enhance Malaysia’s value proposition in the food industry, and more importantly to ensure food security in the region.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who was accompanied by Mohamed Azmin, visited the state-of-the art Baladna Dairy Facility, which is one of the largest cattle farms in Qatar, at the end of his three-day official visit to the Gulf state on Tuesday.
The NCIA said the integrated dairy facility is designed to be climate-independent using world-class technology and quality management systems.
The facility will have the capacity to produce 100 million litres of fresh milk by the first year of operation in the Chuping Agro Valley that borders Thailand and will be able to generate over 2,000 jobs during the initial phase of its first full year of operations.
NAEZ is a new development approach by NCER to drive Malaysia’s advancement in the agro-food industry and ensure the success of the nation’s food security agenda.
The NCIA said the initiative was crafted with a macro holistic approach that incorporates an end-to-end value chain imbedded within the NAEZ development zone that could result in a RM3 billion-RM4 billion in incremental gross domestic product, create more than 12,000 job and entrepreneurship opportunities, as well as reduce imports by RM2.8 billion.
The agency said the “grass to glass” dairy farm will boost the domestic supply of fresh milk by doubling the production and reducing imports, as well as catalysing the local downstream sector that will involve supporting services such as bottling, packaging, logistics and eco-tourism.
Other potential economic spillover areas include utilising Malaysian agricultural land to produce most of the required animal feed for dairy farming, as well as using the integrated facility as a hub to support small rural farms in developing cattle fattening farms and animal feed farms, it added.
The NCIA said the initiative is a key step forward in Baladna’s international expansion plans that includes replicating the company’s success in shifting Qatar’s milk import dependency to self-sufficiency.
Currently, Baladna exports its products to countries around the region, including Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Oman, while eyeing other potential markets, including ASEAN, with Malaysia in particular.