Kedah poised to be a major shrimp-farming state
Kedah is poised to become a major shrimp aquaculture zone following the turnaround of the ailing Kerpan shrimp farm by operator Blue Archipelago Bhd. (29 Dec 2008) The Star
29 December 2008By Eileen Hee
KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah is poised to become a major shrimp aquaculture zone following the turnaround of the ailing Kerpan shrimp farm by operator Blue Archipelago Bhd.
Chief executive officer Dr Shahridan Faiez said with the completion of the integration programme by early 2010, the Kerpan operation would begin to develop contract farming relationships with other shrimp smallholders in the state.
"This could potentially triple the shrimp output of the state and help to turn Kedah into a major shrimp aquaculture zone, especially in the Northern Corridor Economic Region," he told StarBiz.
"With a 30-year lease on the Kerpan farm, Blue
Archipelago has the neccesary long-term commitment and capacity to support the
government policy for transforming the industry into a high-value,
high-performing sector," Shahridan said.
The Kerpan transformation is the flagship project for the company's start-up strategy.
"Blue Archipelago, which had taken over the Kerpan farm 11 months ago, is expecting a harvest of about 500 tonnes this year, which will translate into revenue of about RM7.5mil," he said.
The Kerpan farm, which is now known as the Ayer Hitam farm, has a production capacity of 1,500 tonnes per annum and 226 grow-out ponds. Plans are also in the pipeline to develop a processing plant to be operational by May 2009.
Shahridan said the company planned to invest about RM50mil to repair and upgrade the farm and transform it into a fully integrated acquaculture operation.
Its other projects include the development of the model integrated shrimp aquaculture park (i-Sharp) in Terengganu and the establishment of a shrimp acquaculture programme for innovation and growth in partnership with various national and international partners.
"Shrimp acquaculture is a sunrise industry. However, when you look at the industry in Malaysia, it is one that is lagging. That is when we decided we needed to turn around the state of the industry," he said.
The company's second start-up strategy will entail developing an i-Sharp.
It plans to spend about RM154mil to conduct investments in
hatchery, feedmill and processing plant to create a fully integrated operation
and also introduce knowledge-intensive farming techniques for aqua small and
It will also focus on producing a premium product for the export market and develop a brand name.
The first i-Sharp in Terengganu, spanning about 1,000ha, will have 750 ponds with an estimated production capacity of 5,000 tonnes per annum. "For i-Sharp, for each of the farm of about 1,000ha, we expect an annual revenue of RM215mil," he said.
Shahridan said the third start-up strategy for the company was to invest in research and development.
"In the long run, our competitiveness would hinge on the ability to innovate and develop new products.
"Aquaculture today is a knowledge-intensive business because of the high food safety standards demanded by the premium export markets. Companies with integrated supply chains are more competitive in the global marketplace as they are able to offer full traceability of their products, thus ensuring food safety and quality," he said.
Source: The Star