KUALA LUMPUR – The new agricultural research facility built by Enza Zaden is set spur the local industry and attract international firms to expand their markets in Malaysia.
For that, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is encouraging international firms to expand their operations in Malaysia particularly in the agriculture and food processing industry.
In a recent statement, MIDA chief executive officer, Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman, said that the nation’s business ecosystem and existing supply chain makes it an ideal location for businesses to develop regional production hubs while also allowing the country of Malaysia to strengthen its agricultural food production industry,
The statement was following the completion of Enza Zaden Asia R&D Sdn Bhd, a research and development infrastructure facility in Sauk, Perak. This is the first R&D infrastructure centre in Southeast Asia built by the Enza Zaden, Netherlands’ leading vegetable breeding company.
“For the sake of food security and climate change mitigation, the R&D centre at Enza Zaden is a vital contributor to the national goal of implementing smart agriculture by utilising agri-technology and sustainable raw materials.
“There will be more job opportunities for Malaysians in the high-value food product manufacturing sector, which will allow them to learn about new processes and product development while also increasing Malaysian food exports,” Arham stated.
Enza Zaden already has 45 subsidiaries and three joint ventures in 25 countries. This R&D facility is just another milestone in their expanding network of vegetable seed research and agricultural development.
This facility is prepared to cater for the agriculture seed markets in 12 countries within the Asian region and beyond. This would serve farmers worldwide for them to cultivate high-quality vegetables in order to serve over 450 million people world wide.
R&D facility an added value to Malaysia
Back in 2016, Enza Zaden was awarded the BioNexus Status by the Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corp Sdn Bhd (Bioeconomy Corp). This is an economic development agency under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries Malaysia (MAFI). It serves to assist and facilitate biotechnology and bio-based industries in Malaysia.
Bioeconomy Corp CEO Mohd Khairul Fidzal Abdul Razak stated that the agency believes that Enza Zaden will be able to develop innovative variants of seeds that would suit the local tropical climate and soil conditions.
“Research results from this R&D centre will benefit and uplift local farmers as well as contribute to national food security, and we will continue to support and look forward to the company’s success in providing value to the global seed sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Enza Zaden CEO Jaap Mazereeuw highlighted that the company’s latest investment in Sauk was designed with a conducive working environment and equipped with state-of-the-art seed processing and research capabilities.
“Research and breeding under local conditions is essential to a sustainable agricultural system in Southeast Asia as part of our efforts to serve the farmers there. It was after thorough review that the Enza board decided in making the investment in Malaysia. The R&D farm is more than 20 hectares in size,” he explained.
The statement added that Enza Zaden invested more than RM100 million here while hiring over 100 locals to add to the workforce in the R&D facility. The company is providing technical training for them that includes equipping them with future-proof skillsets.
Aside from that, the company is also providing internship opportunities to promote agricultural technical knowledge among the youth. They also offer education sponsorships for students to support the nation’s agriculture economy growth.
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