JEMALUANG in Mersing district, located about 150km from Johor Baru city centre, has the potential to emerge as the leading dairy producer in Malaysia.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the state investment arm, Johor Corporation (JCorp), would be tasked with undertaking the Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV) project.
He said Johor was eager to emulate the success story of large-scale dairy farms in Muadzam Shah, Pahang, where a private company had turned the place into a leading fresh milk producer in the country.
“We want JDV to be on par with the dairy farm there or even better, ” Hasni told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony of United Kotak Bhd’s second plant in SME Industrial Park in Bandar Indahpura, Kulai, Johor.
He said JCorp’s role was to identify strategic partners or investors for the project, adding that the minimal investment would be in the region of RM100mil.
Hasni said spanning on a 242ha site, the project would have 20 satellite farms within the surrounding areas and provide many direct and indirect job opportunities for locals in the district.
He said the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) authority would invest about RM70mil to develop the infrastructure for the project.
“Initially, we will focus on producing fresh milk before venturing into downstream activities such as cheese making or other value-added products in the future, ’’ said Hasni.
Separately, he hoped the Federal Government could consider extending the East Coast Highway (LRPT) connecting Pahang and Terengganu to Mersing.
Hasni said the district would benefit economically, especially the tourism sector, if the highway were to be extended as it would reduce travelling time from Pahang and Terengganu.
Located in the north-east of Johor, Mersing district is privy to 40 unspoiled islands of the South China Sea and the 219-million-year old Endau-Rompin National Park.
Mersing is one of the two towns on the eastern part of Johor and lies on the main trunk road connecting southern and eastern Johor to east coast Pahang, including Kuantan.
It is the main departure point for ferries to nearby islands such as Pulau Tioman in Pahang and more than 40 islands in the Seribuat Archipelago off South China Sea.