JOHOR BARU: Johor government has identified agriculture and tourism sectors to help drive economic activities in Mersing post Covid-19.
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state government would be working closely with the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) in realising the district’s potential to become a main destination for the two sectors.
“Agri-business will see development of two major projects, the Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV), which is expected to be completed in February 2023 and Endau-Mersing Integrated Fish Processing Park, which will be completed in March 2022.
“For the tourism sector, this will include the ‘Rainforest to Reef’ (R2R) development strategy under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) 2.0 master plan, Kampungstay Air Papan and Sultan Iskandar Marine Park Information Centre (PIPTLSI), ” he said in a post on Facebook.
In a statement, ECERDC chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said the JDV would further reduce the country’s reliance on imported milk products, which was estimated to be worth RM3.9bil in 2019.
“It will consist of both upstream and downstream facilities, such as cow barns, a milking area, a milk processing centre and a fodder station for cattle feed on 275ha land in Sungai Ambat, Jemaluang.
“The project will be also be complemented with agro-tourism activities and the government would facilitate investment and infrastructure development while the private sector champions its commercial advancement, ” he added.
He said the development of the dairy production value chain through this business model would increase the number of jobs and entrepreneurial activities in ECER.
Baidzawi added that the development of Endau-Mersing Fish Processing Park would further rejuvenate Mersing’s fisheries sector, a traditional economic driver for the district.
“This development will improve the quality of downstream fish-based products that are manufactured by local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“This will also help create new job opportunities for locals as the park will be built on 1.14ha of land owned by Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia in Endau, ” he said.
Baidzawi said the park would consist of a central cold room, fish and seafood product processing factories, as well as factory facilities for SMEs.
On the tourism sector, he stressed that the R2R development strategy was in line with Mersing’s “Naturally Splendid” tagline, where it would harness the potential of eco-tourism, coastal tourism and island tourism in the district.
He said a milestone project was the Kampungstay development project in Air Papan, which involves the construction of chalets with local aesthetics and the upgrading of surrounding facilities to transform the traditional homestay concept into community-based tourism.
“This project, expected to be ready in 2022, will enable the local community to earn income through a cooperative which will be established to manage and provide the Kampungstay experience and facilities to tourists.
“Meanwhile, the PIPTLSI, which is located on Pulau Besar, will be completed early next year and also act as a Rural Transformation Centre (RTC) for the local community while serving as a ‘must-visit’ tourist destination in the islands of Mersing, ” he added.
Baidzawi also said ECERDC was building a jetty and breakwater at Pulau Pemanggil and it would be ready by March next year, after the monsoon season.
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