A Turkish company has raised the possibility of investing in banana cultivation in Malaysia, the Sun Daily reports.
Sirali Group, a firm with experience in cultivating Cavendish bananas, has expressed interest in bringing its technology to the state of Kedah in the northwest part of Peninsular Malaysia.
The Group held an investment briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday 9 January, after which the chairman of Malaysia’s State Industry and Investment and Trade Committee, Dr Ku Abdul Rahman Ku Ismail, said they had the potential to double production.
"With the technology, the firm can produce 45kg bunches of bananas, compared to bunches of just 20-25 kg in Malaysia," he said.
He added the company wished to work with local firms such as Kedah Agro, the Kedah Economic Development Corporation, or other businesses with government links.
"Kedah Agro could implement the project while they provide the technology, and the Kedah Investment Centre will look into a suitable business model and coordinate it," Ismail said.
According to Israil, Sirali has proposed an opening investment of RM6m (US$1.83m) for a banana plantation covering 80ha.
This would see average annual returns of RM20m (US$6.1m).
Israil advocates Malaysia as the ideal place for such an investment, given its suitable growing conditions but forecast banana shortages.
"We want to expand a project like this to small farmers in rural areas, and the company is willing to provide the training," he said.