Johor hopes for new fruitful venture with China

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor will start exporting Malaysian honey jackfruit (nangka madu) to China next year in hopes of opening up a new market for the local farmers.

State agriculture, agro-based industry and rural committee chairman Datuk Zahari Sarip said two companies – Kawan Pertanian Sdn Bhd and CSC Bhd – have received the approval to export a total of 100 containers of the fruit (per year) to China.

“Both companies have a combined land spanning 155ha and they will be shipping out about 500 to 600 metric tonnes of honey jackfruit.

“If their first venture is successful, it could open up more opportunities for Johor to export fruits besides durians and pineapples,” he said at the state assembly in Kota Iskandar here yesterday.

Zahari was asked to elaborate on the jackfruit export after bringing it up in the question and answer session earlier.

He said both exporting companies also welcome the 277 jackfruit producers in the state to collaborate but they must meet the criteria set by China in terms of variety as well as the fertilisers and pesticides used.

Separately, Johor investment, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han said the state aims to realise another RM60bil worth of investment at the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) by 2031.

He said the 25-year development plan is currently in its second phase (2020-2025), where close to RM140bil worth of committed investment has been recorded.

Lee said the additional investment value of RM60bil in phase three is achievable as seven other projects are in the pipeline.

The projects include a solar farm, polyethylene terephthalate production facility, biofuel facility and nitrile-related products manufacturing plant for gloves and textiles, he added.

“The projects are currently in the feasibility study stage and this typically takes two to three years or more as petrochemical and chemical projects involve heavyweight capital expenditure,” he said.

Meanwhile, state works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh said road contractors that under-perform or produce subpar work could have their business licence revoked.

The monitoring of roads and roadworks is currently done by the Public Works Department and local councils through patrols and random checks, he said, adding that such activities are usually carried out twice a week.

“However, due to the lack of manpower and distance that needs to be covered, some areas might be overlooked. As an added measure, the state will also be monitoring the contractors’ performance through the Johor Centre for Construction Development (JCCD),” he told the state assembly.He said once JCCD receives a complaint, investigations will be carried out to see if the contractor in question has gone against the agreed conditions.

“This could range from not working overtime (for a road works project) as stipulated, failing to provide a good traffic management plan, carrying out works without following the standard operating procedures, and for producing unsatisfactory quality of work.

“JCCD can then downgrade the contractor’s rating or revoke its business licence,” he said.

During the question and answer session, Datuk Zulkurnain Kamisan (BN-Sri Medan) also asked whether the state government would consider re-evaluating the road construction specifications in view of the increased traffic volume and heavy usage.

Mohamad Fazli agreed with the suggestion, adding that there is a need to do so due to the present traffic situation.

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