Malaysia bets on new dairy project to reduce reliance on milk imports, create jobs

MALAYSIA – Malaysia’s Johor State Government and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) have signed a collaboration agreement to develop a new project aimed at raising the country’s dairy production capacity.   

Dubbed the JemaluangDairy Valley (JDV) project, the new project is part of the overall strategy in turning the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) into the ‘Dairy Valley’ of Malaysia. 

 The JDV project will be built on 275 hectares of land in Mersing, Joho, and will be modeled on the Muadzam Shah Cattle Research and Innovation Centre (MSCRIC) in Pahang, another ECERDC project. 

It takes an integrated approach including upstream, midstream, and downstream activities from animal breeding, livestock management, milk processing, to related industries such as animal feed and nutrition. 

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When fully operational in 2023, Malaysia’s Dairy Valley is expected to produce 5.1m liters of fresh milk annually, boosting national production by 11%. 

Increasing the country’s total dairy output will further reduce reliance on imported milk products, which is estimated to be worth a total of RM3.9bn ($930m) in 2019.  

The MSCRIC project has already proved successful with milk production surpassing the initial target, reaching a record 6 million liters in 2020. 

The project, under the leadership of Farm Fresh Sdn. Bhd. has also directly benefited the local population, including the Orang Asli community, by generating 275 new job opportunities and 2,206 entrepreneurial prospects, such as home dealers and satellite farmers.  

“The Johor State Government has planned to expand its agricultural sector and intends to become a major food exporter as well as a “food bank” to other exporting countries,” said YAB Dato Haji Hasni bin Mohammed, the Menteri Besar of Johor. 

“The JDV project by ECERDC will support the state’s objective to become the regional food hub, in line with the Johor Food Security Agenda, as well as the Johor Food Bank initiative which aims to accelerate the state’s economic recovery.”

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Through its agrofood@ECER initiative, ECERDC’s vision is to transform the ECER into a major food production hub for the nation.

This will help address the nation’s food security concerns, by reducing food imports especially dairy products, as well as creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. 

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