KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 – Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB), a leading Malaysian conglomerate, broke ground on its new integrated dairy farm in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan, signaling its entry into the upstream fresh milk business. This significant milestone sets the stage for F&NHB to become one of the largest milk producers in Malaysia once its integrated farm reaches Phase 1 full production, generating 100 million liters of fresh milk annually.

Spanning over 2,726 hectares, the farm will eventually accommodate 20,000 milking cows, producing 200 million liters of fresh milk each year for both local and international markets. The processing and packaging line will be situated adjacent to the milking parlour, ensuring Malaysian consumers have access to quality fresh milk at an affordable price. This venture will also stimulate growth in the local agricultural industry by fostering a skilled workforce and generating employment opportunities in the dairy and agriculture sectors.

The groundbreaking ceremony was graced by the presence of the Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan, Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Haji Aminuddin bin Harun. Also in attendance were Negeri Sembilan State Secretary, Y.B. Dato’ Mohd Zafir bin Ibrahim, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Chairman of F&NHB, Y.A.M. Tengku Syed Badarudin Jamalullail, and F&NHB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lim Yew Hoe.

Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Haji Aminuddin bin Harun, Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan, expressed enthusiasm for the development of F&NHB’s dairy farm in Gemas, emphasizing its potential to contribute to the local economy, the Malaysian dairy industry, and the creation of a skilled workforce. In his opening address, he stated, “Projects such as this will not only create new job opportunities and agribusiness prospects for local communities but also empower them with new technologies in dairy farming.

Furthermore, F&NHB’s establishment of a Research & Development (R&D) Centre or Centre of Excellence (COE) for Dairy and Agriculture will contribute to the development of skilled professionals in fields such as veterinarians, animal nutritionists, agronomists, food technologists, and food R&D. These initiatives will undoubtedly enhance job opportunities for skilled workforces, driving growth in the dairy and agriculture sectors.”

Lim Yew Hoe, CEO of F&NHB, expressed satisfaction with the progress made towards realizing their vision of providing fresh milk to every household in Malaysia. He stated, “Operationalizing the integrated dairy farm will result in a vertical integration of F&NHB’s business and operations, reducing our reliance on imported milk for downstream production and distribution. This integration will also help lower the cost per liter of fresh milk, benefiting Malaysian consumers. We also aim to export fresh milk, potentially making Malaysia a net exporter of fresh milk in the future.”

In addition to the dairy farm, F&NHB plans to engage in feed crop farming within the facility, aligning with the government’s objective of increasing domestic feed crop production to reduce dependence on imports. Currently, Malaysia imports nearly 100% of its animal feed from Brazil and Argentina. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) responsibility is a key consideration for the farm. Lim emphasized that by reducing the need to import milk, the Group will be able to lower its overall carbon footprint due to reduced transportation of materials from overseas.

The farm will be designed with sustainable farming and circular economy practices in mind, incorporating green technology throughout its processes. F&NHB plans to invest at least RM1 billion in Phase 1 of the farm’s development. Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, DCEO of MIDA, commented, “F&NHB’s development of the integrated dairy farm represents a significant milestone for Malaysia’s self-sufficiency in fresh milk and dairy-based food supply. Apart from economic benefits, the comprehensive agri-food project contributes to Malaysia’s pursuit of sustainable food and animal feed supply.

The potential of smart farming in dairy production, utilizing technologies for optimal results in cattle care, feed mixing, circular management, and diversified dairy products, will undoubtedly revolutionize the agribusiness segment in Malaysia.” He further highlighted Malaysia’s appeal as a location for enterprises aiming to establish a presence in the thriving global halal market. With its well-established food production ecosystem, skilled workforce, and globally accepted halal certification system, Malaysia provides an ideal environment for companies to diversify into innovative processes and advanced technology in the agriculture and food processing industries.

Leveraging Malaysia’s business ecosystem and established local supply chain, companies can establish regional production hubs, bolstering the country’s food production capabilities. Lim expressed his gratitude to MIDA, departments and agencies under the Negeri Sembilan State Government, such as INVEST Negeri Sembilan (INVEST NS), the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia, and all other state and federal government agencies, for their invaluable support in launching F&NHB’s venture.

Pocket News