June 12, 2013
JEFI Aquatech collaborates with experts to enhance Malaysia's aquaculture industry
In order to enhance Malaysia's aquaculture industry, JEFI Aquatech Resources Sdn Bhd is collaborating with local and foreign experts on aquaculture research and development (R&D) projects to improve its production through biotechnology.
The collaborations will be for JEFI's MYR375 million (US$119 million) integrated shrimp farming project in Penang, which is expected to be fully operational in the next three years.
The JEFI group, which is a leading shrimp producer, is an anchor company in the government's Economic Transformation Programme to spearhead the integrated shrimp farming project to develop Malaysia as a leading shrimp producer in the global halal market.
The project consists of a large scale R&D centre, high-productivity hatchery centres, 800-hectare shrimp farm, frozen and dried seafood processing facilities and a high-capacity cold storage warehouse.
"We will implement the R&D centre in the third quarter of 2013," said JEFI Group chief executive officer, BJ Tan, at the ceremony to sign the memorandum of understanding.
The collaboration will involve five professors and aquaculture experts from China Oceanic Administration, Xiamen University, and Fujian Province Fisheries Research Institute on Technology focusing on hatchery and farming system.
JEFI will also work with Universiti Malaysia Perlis on developing recycling aquaculture and embedded systems for aquaculture and also with Universiti Sains Malaysia to develop novel delivery systems of feed in aquaculture and conversion of aquaculture waste.
"We are now starting to develop aquatech farms in Kedah and Johor. We will also have our aquatech farm operations in Pahang and Kelantan. We are still negotiating with Pahang and Kelantan state governments to lease the land for the purpose," said Tan.
Meanwhile, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) chief executive officer, Datuk Redza Rafiq, said the northern region has a number of factors that make aquaculture a viable economic activity, including the availability of diverse fish species and several geographical advantages such as a 700-kilometre coastline.
"All these factors have enabled NCIA to deliver close to MYR1 billion (US$318 million) in terms of private sector participation in the aquaculture sector in the north of Peninsular Malaysia over the last three years," said Redza.
He said NCIA was looking at biotechnology to take aquaculture into the next level. "We are looking at biotechnology because it allows us to seamlessly progress to create added value and more opportunities," he said.