PETALING JAYA: Fraser and Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) is venturing into the upstream fresh milk business with an investment of at least RM1 billion for the development of Phase 1 of its integrated dairy farm in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan.
The farm in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan is expected to put the group on track to becoming one of Malaysia’s largest milk producers when Phase 1 reaches full production of 100 million litres of fresh milk.
Spanning over 2,726 hectares, the farm will eventually house 20,000 dairy cattle, producing 200 million litres of fresh milk per year for the local and international markets, said Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Aminuddin Harun.
Speaking at the F&N Agrivalley groundbreaking ceremony today, he said the project, which will be developed in phases, is expected to be fully completed by 2027, create 500 jobs as well as provide agro business opportunities for the local community.
“This project will also reduce the country’s dependence on imported milk, aside from enhancing the nation’s food security,” he said.
Aminuddin added that other initiatives in the Agropolis cluster that will be developed by F&N include the development of ruminant valleys, which is the use of high technology in the field of agriculture in particular, in the field of crop planting and dairy cattle farming.
He said the state government strongly encourages more efforts and programmes that involve the surrounding community such as the ‘contract farming’ initiative to provide employment opportunities to the local residents as well as improve the abilities of local dairy entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, F&N CEO Lim Yew Hoe said operationalising the integrated dairy farm would result in a vertical integration of F&N’s business and operations.
“It means reducing our reliance on imported milk for downstream production and distribution, and will also help lower the cost per litre of fresh milk, benefitting Malaysian consumers,” he said in a joint statement with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) today.
Lim said the processing and packaging line will be situated right next to the milking parlour, enabling it to offer Malaysian consumers quality fresh milk at affordable prices.
“This will also help promote the growth of the local agricultural industry by fostering a skilled workforce and generating job opportunities in the dairy and agriculture industries,” he said, adding F&N also aims to export fresh milk, potentially making Malaysia a net exporter of fresh milk in the future.
Meanwhile, Lim said F&N’s plans for feed crop farming within the facility align with the government’s goal of increasing feed crop production to reduce the nation’s dependence on imported feed.
Malaysia currently imports nearly 100% of its animal feed from Brazil and Argentina.