Reaping a rich harvest

Booming initiative: The fish pools at the TKPM site in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. (Inset) A farm helper showing a fish breed.

PENANG will focus on high quality produce through the use of modern technology and efficient resources, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“The demand for fishery produce is expected to increase from 1.3mil metric tonnes in 2010 to 1.9mil metric tonnes in 2020, with a growth of 3.8% annually.

“Consumption of fish per capita is also expected to increase from 46kg to 55kg with a growth of 1.9% per year.

“The increase is due to the awareness of fish as a healthier source of protein,” he said after opening the Juru Permanent Food Production Plantation (TKPM) in Juru recently.

State Agriculture, Agro-based Industries, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said TKPM was an important project by the government to increase agriculture-based production.

“The project charges a monthly rent of only RM250 per acre.

“Currently, we have 15 participants with about RM40mil investment in the poultry sector.

“Eight participants are now growing pineapples on the site,” he said.

Dr Afif said that up to December last year, the site produced 545,336 pineapples worth RM827,701.

“The aquaculture fisheries segment has also recorded an increase from 41,051 metric tonnes in 2013 to 61,064 metric tonnes last year.

“For the parent stock chicken breed, 64,000 chickens have been reared for the first phase which is expected to produce 7.23 million chickens worth almost RM12mil.

“There will be an additional 108,000 chickens in the second phase,” he said.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, state Religious Affairs Committee chairman Abdul Malek Abul Kassim, Deputy State Secretary (development) Datuk Abu Jamal Nordin and representatives from the state fisheries, agriculture and veterinary departments.

The TKPM project near the Juru Light Industrial Park consists of three main components — agriculture, poultry and aquaculture.

It aims to solve issues resulting from the lack of land for producing food.

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