KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has set up a Business Development Centre to facilitate investments in technology-related areas and spur growth in the fisheries sector, said Agriculture Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Effendi Norwawi.
He said there were tremendous opportunities in fishery-related businesses and entrepreneurs would be offered incentives to venture into technology.
“The Government has set a target that the fisheries sector will be a source of economic growth in this decade up to 2010.
“Therefore, an incentive scheme has been formulated on the various types of incentives they could enjoy,’’ he told a press conference after opening the Fisheye View International Exhibition at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre at the Mega Mall here last Friday.
Dr Effendi said the Fisheries Department and Malaysia Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) had begun to develop joint ventures with the private sector and international bodies in the area of technology.
These include ventures in fish fry and feed production, deep sea and international fishing, downstream processing, value-added fish products preparation, marketing and trading, and the fishery-related agro-tourism industry.
Noting that fishery resources were being depleted, he said upgrading technology know-how would bring about larger catches.
Dr Effendi added that the ministry had developed a comprehensive long-term plan to ensure that the fisheries sector was sustainable.
He said the plan was in line with the Third National Agricultural Policy (NAP3) 1998-2010, under which fish production would increase from one million tonnes to 1.8 million tonnes a year, with 600,000 tonnes of the increase coming from aquaculture.
“We see a bright future in aquaculture industry, which will be beneficial to the country in terms of import savings, food security and export earnings,” he added.
He also said research and development should be carried out to explore non-traditional activities such as shellfish culture, seaweed culture, mariculture, tuna fishing, fishery-based food processing, sports fishing and aqua-tourism.
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