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Fruitnet.com Staff

BY FRUITNET.COM STAFF

Wednesday 7th January 2009, 23:00 Hong Kong

Malaysian project boosts fruit production

Malaysia hopes an agricultural project on its east coast will reduce the country’s reliance on fruit imports and boost its produce exports

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A fruit-growing project in Malaysia’s East Coast Economic Region is expected to produce some 1.2m tonnes of fresh fruit worth RM1.55bn when fully operational in 20 years time, reports Bernama.

Lanchang Park in Pahang, which spans some 3,600ha, was set up to boost Malaysia’s fruit production, reduce the country’s reliance on imports, as well as increase exports and encourage fruit-processing ventures, the website said.

"When fully operational, the Lanchang Fruit Park will make Pahang one of the country's top producers of fresh produce," Pahang Agriculture Department director Kamariah Ismail is quoted as saying.
 
She said about 60 per cent of the Lanchang Fruit Park has already been developed, with the balance scheduled to be completed by 2010.
 
"The output until November last year was 5,430 metric tonnes worth RM7.78m from 14 private companies and four smallholders. Thirteen other companies and 18 smallholders are in the process of planting fruit trees," Ms Kamariah added.
 
She said some of  Lanchang Fruit Park's produce had already been exported to Hong Kong, Singapore and Europe.
 
"The quality of fruits is under the strict control of the state and federal departments of agriculture. We adhere to good agricultural practices (GAP) which have standard procedures to control and reduce hazards, risk and ensure food security," she said.
 
Going forward, Ms Kamariah said more infrastructure facilities would be in place by 2010, including additions to access roads, electricity and fresh water supply.

"Meanwhile, anchor companies such as the Malaysian Agrifood Corporation (MAFC), will supply quality seeds and initiate contract farming with smallholders and private companies to ensure export standards are met," she said.
 
Explaining further, she said the MAFC would build and operate a collection, processing and packaging centre (CPPC) to ensure export quality was met.
 
The Agricultural Department is also providing technical and advisory support services, which include arranging meetings between  farmers and potential buyers, she added.

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