KUALA LUMPUR: Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) said is looking into investing at least RM1bil in developing phase one of its integrated dairy farm in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan, which will reduce its reliance on imported milk for downstream production and distribution.
According to the group, the farm is expected to put the group on track to becoming one of Malaysia's largest milk producers when Phase 1 reaches full production at 100 million litres of fresh milk.
The facility is spread over 2,726ha and will eventually house 20,000 milking cows and produce 200 million litres of fresh milk yearly for the local and international markets.
In a statement announcing the groundbreaking ceremony, the F&B CEO Lim Yew Hoe said the integration will help to lower the cost per litre of fresh milk, benefitting Malaysian consumers.
He added that F&N has plans to export the fresh milk, which could make Malaysia a net exporter of fresh milk.
In addition to the dairy farm, he said there are also plans for feed crop farming within the facility, which aligns with the government's goal of increasing feed crop production to reduce the nation's dependence on imported feed.
The processing and packaging line will be situated right next to the milking parlour, offering Malaysian consumers quality fresh milk at an affordable price.
"By reducing the need to import milk, the group will also be able to reduce its overall carbon footprint due to the reduced need for transporting materials from overseas.
"The farm will also be designed around sustainable farming and circular economy practices, employing green technology throughout the farm’s processes," said Lim.
Meanwhile, Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Haji Aminuddin Harun said the dairy farm has potential to contribute to the local economy, the Malaysian dairy industry and the creation of a skilled workforce.
"Projects such as this will not only create new job opportunities and agrobusiness prospects for local communities but also empower them with new technologies in dairy farming.
"Furthermore, F&N's establishment of a research and development (R&D) centre or centre of excellence (COE) for dairy and agriculture will contribute to the development of skilled professionals in fields such as veterinarians, animal nutritionists, agronomists, food technologists, and food R&D," he said during his opening address at the groundbreaking ceremony.