MUAR: Malaysians have been urged to venture into the biotechnology industrial sector as manufacturing industries are no longer cheap to operate.
Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha said the Government encouraged any party to set up biotechnology plants in the country.
Speaking to reporters here, he said the ministry and other related departments and agencies had special funds to help those interested in venturing into such sectors.
The manufacturing sector is facing competition from other nations in the region and with the increase in land, labour and operation costs, it is no longer cheap to operate a factory.
However, there is room for Malaysians to venture into biotechnology industries, which offer vast marketing opportunities, he said after launching a new biotechnology product here recently.
Kong said the new bio-product, produced by BioFact Life Sdn Bhd factory in Parit Jamil near Parit Jawa, was the first such bio-product produced in the country.
He said the factory cultivated cordyceps from rice-based materials in a strictly controlled environment for use in health and medicinal purposes instead of importing wild cordyceps, a type of fungi considered precious in traditional Chinese medicine.
He said the price of wild cordyceps was about RM50,000 per kg while the cultivated product produced by BioFact Life company cost between RM6,000 and RM7,000 per kg.
Earlier, BioFact Life managing director Vince Chua Wee Kok said all biotechnology products from the company were sent to the Chemistry Department for stringent tests and study.
He said the company spent about RM10mil to set up the biotechnology factory on a half-hectare site in Parit Jamil and was focusing on developing quality natural herbal products.