Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nearly RM90m for two agri projects under ETP

KUALA LUMPUR: The two proposed agriculture-based projects under the Economic Transformation Programme's (ETP) National Key Economic Area (NKEA) will involve nearly RM90 million in investments.

The first proposal will involve the investment of RM72.6 million by 2020 for two aquaculture complexes with a gross national income (GNI) impact of RM223 million by 2020. A total of 1,000 jobs are expected to be created.

The second plan will see the Ministry of Agriculture allocating RM14.29 million to move herbal products from the lower end of the value chain, where the products in the mass market do not have clinical claims or scientific proof, to the higher end -- nutraceuticals with preclinical/clinical claims or botanical drugs. Nova Laboratories Sdn Bhd has been identified as one of the anchor companies to help move this sector up the value chain.

Details of the proposals were released during the ETP progress update last Thursday, Sept 8 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

For the aquaculture project, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) and Hannan Corporation Sdn Bhd will set up two aquaculture complexes in Selinsing and Pulau Gua, both in Perak.

The size of the aquaculture complexs are 121 ha and 323 ha respectively and both complexes are expected to produce 14,000 tons of white shrimp per year.

Hannan Corporation will also collaborate with research facilities and aquaculture related industry such as Bogor Institute of Agriculture, in the field of farm design and operation.

Hannan Corporation's Japanese partner, Misaki Suisan Co. Ltd will transfer TECHNOLOGY [] and skills on post-harvest processing in addition to an output guaranteed buy-back scheme.

For the high-value herbal products proposal, Nova Laboratories will receive RM14.29 million as research and development grant from the Agriculture Ministry. The grant will be for research and development and also pre-clinical and clinical trials to develop three high value products and commercialise them

The products are the Hepar-P capsule for liver protection, an external anti-aging product and an oral anti-aging product, both with skin lightening effects.

The target is to increase the product value by up to 10-fold after the pre-clinical trials and another 10-fold in the post-clinical trials.

Performance Management & Delivery Unit, which is the driver for the ETP, said Malaysia could penetrate the global herbal products markets, projected to jump to US$5 trillion by 2050 from US$200 billion now.

The development of this segment was expected to create 760 jobs.

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