KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — The Johor State Government fully supports the East Coast Economic Region Development Council’s (ECERDC) initiatives to revitalise the economy in Mersing through the Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV) development and other agricultural projects.
Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said ECERDC’s development plan for Mersing is in line with the initiatives outlined in the Johor State Budget 2022 which will support the state government’s objectives to improve food security and further develop agrofood production.
He said this when chairing the Johor ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee meeting on December 7.
In a statement, ECERDC said the JDV development is expected to begin in December 2021 and construction is expected to be completed in December 2023 while the appointment of the company to manage the project will be finalised in June 2022.
Once fully operational, JDV is expected to produce 5.1 million litres of fresh milk and will increase the country’s milk production by 11 per cent.
Another agribusiness project under construction, namely the Endau-Mersing Fish Processing Park, which is now 53 per cent completed, would boost the fisheries sector in Mersing.
The project will provide a platform for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to produce value-added fish-based downstream products.
Meanwhile, in the same statement, ECERDC chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said the council appreciated the strong support given by the Johor State Government.
“ECERDC will also launch the second phase of the ACES I4.0 Web Application programme in Johor which will support digitisation efforts in the state,” he said.
ECERDC has also received support from the Johor State Government to expand the implementation of the ACES I4.0 Web Application Programme developed by the Asia Centre of Excellence for Smart Technologies (ACES).
With an allocation of RM1.5 million, the ACES I4.0 web application programme will be further expanded to three districts in Johor, namely Mersing, Segamat and Kota Tinggi for the benefit of 3,000 secondary school students.
The ACES I4.0 Web Application Programme is an interactive learning application developed by ACES to provide students with exposure and knowledge in Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technology concepts and advantages, including future social and career impact in various I4.0 related fields.
Meanwhile, ECERDC said the Kampungstay project in Air Papan, involving the construction of 10 chalets, a multi-purpose hall, two restaurants, and upgrading of houses to promote community-based tourism, is now 41 per cent completed and is expected to be fully completed by May 2022.
“Once completed, the project will have a spillover effect on the community and will enable local homeowners to earn income by offering the Kampungstay experience and other tourism-related services, including guided tours,” it said.
Another ongoing project is the construction of the PETA Rainforest Discovery Centre in Taman Negara Endau-Rompin (Johor) which will be completed in April 2023.
“This new tourist attraction is expected to create employment opportunities in the tourism industry for the locals, especially the Orang Asli community in this area,” said ECERDC.
Besides that, the Cabinet Meeting in October 2021 has 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 2.0 Master Plan, Segamat will become the “Bio-Agro Valley” with a major focus on agro-based industries including durian plantations, aquaculture as well as dairy.
“With Segamat’s entry into ECER, the local tourism industry and SME sector will also benefit from ECERDC’s comprehensive long-term socio-economic development plan.
“ECERDC has held preliminary discussions on the development planning in Segamat district with stakeholders in line with the Johor State Government’s plan to make the district an agricultural hub,” it added.