Tanjung Manis Halal Hub on course to become world’s leading halal SEZ

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With 77,000 hectares of fertile agricultural land at its disposal, the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub is set to become one of the world’s most important centres for tackling issues of food security and sustainable food production.

The Tanjung Manis Halal Hub (TMHH) in Sarawak is one a core part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative, established with the aim of promoting halal products and services and addressing regional food security issues.

The Hub is spread across 77,000 hectares of land located on the western-most area of the SCORE landscape, which stretches 350 kilometres east.

TMHH is aiming to be the top halal hub in the world, promoting aquaculture, agriculture, food processing, biotechnology, horticulture as well as Islamic financial services. Access to the zone has been made easier with improvements to road networks and the construction of world-class port facilities and a nearby airport.

TMHH Executive Chairman YB Datuk Hajah Norah Tun Abdul Rahman said the Sarawak facility is poised to become one of the key nodes of SCORE.

“Tanjung Manis Halal Hub is positioned to be the Food & Agriculture Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of SCORE,” she said. “The Halal Hub will assist the Sarawak economy by producing raw materials for food products such as fish, prawn, corn and maize for the local and international market.

“This will help to reduce import bills. The Halal Hub is intended to address the food security issue affecting the world right now, which is witnessing a food shortage due to natural disasters and the shifting from agriculture to other developments, such as those seen in Thailand and Vietnam.”

While many halal centres exist around the world, Datuk Norah TMHH will have unique qualities that benefit not only upstream industries but also downstream activities.

Green development

“It will practice green development in every aspect of development, which is quite different from other halal hub and food production centres.  We are at the stage of developing a comprehensive Master Plan to this effect, and scheduled to be completed by year end,” said Datuk Norah.

The first international company to invest in TMHH was Taiwan-based Sea Party International (SPI). Together with its subsidiaries, SPI pledged RM$2 billion in phases. The first phase involved spending RM318 million for aquaculture activities such as tilapia breeding, chlorella cultivation and production of Halal collagen and gelatine. The second phase moves into the production of gelatine from tilapia scales, bones and skin, organic prawn farming and vendor development programmes.

She adds that “Arab nations are the largest net importers of food and cereal in the world due to land scarcity issues and the dwindling availability of arable land that’s suitable for agriculture worldwide. Being an advanced Halal Hub, Tanjung Manis has the advantage of downstream and upstream value chains, where the availability of raw materials for food production via agriculture and aquaculture is our key advantage. Others are merely focusing on mid value chain activities such as food processing when we have the end to end solutions in an integrated development.

Datuk Norah said she expected more investment from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

“We have received many enquiries such as integrated prawn farming, stevia plantation and corn plantation,” she said. “Since the road show in Abu Dhabi, we have received many general enquiries from the Middle East on agricultural projects as well.

“We are always trying to promote and attract more investors who are concerned with food security to come and visit TMHH. We also have plans to have road shows to Japan, China, Europe and Middle East next year.”

Apart from attracting foreign investors and addressing food security issues, TMHH is also expected to create jobs for Sarawakians.

“In terms of providing job opportunities to many agriculture graduates in Malaysia, TMHH will offer more jobs relating to their qualification,” she said.

“Malaysians will benefit via technology transfer such as from Taiwan, on the latest aquaculture technology, by working in TMHH.  Also by being a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) as proposed, there will be many financial and tax incentives planned for people working there.

“Overall, TMHH will also eradicate poverty, improve rural development and resolve the food security issues for the nation.”

Overall benefit

As an integral part of SCORE, the activities of TMHH is aimed at helping Sarawak achieve high-income status by 2020 in tandem with federal government ambitions.

The Sarawak government has invested up to RM1.3 billion in Tanjung Manis to modernise infrastructure and public network.

To support TMHH objectives, the Universiti Teknologi Mara Sarawak is introducing fresh programmes in herbal and halal food production leading to diplomas and degrees, including aquaculture and microbiology.

The courses are aimed at fulfilling TMHH’s demand for skilled manpower as more investors and industries move into the hub.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

With 77,000 hectares of fertile agricultural land at its disposal, the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub is set to become one of the world’s most important centres for tackling issues of food security and sustainable food production.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With 77,000 hectares of fertile agricultural land at its disposal, the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub is set to become one of the world’s most important centres for tackling issues of food security and sustainable food production.

The Tanjung Manis Halal Hub (TMHH) in Sarawak is one a core part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative, established with the aim of promoting halal products and services and addressing regional food security issues.

The Hub is spread across 77,000 hectares of land located on the western-most area of the SCORE landscape, which stretches 350 kilometres east.

TMHH is aiming to be the top halal hub in the world, promoting aquaculture, agriculture, food processing, biotechnology, horticulture as well as Islamic financial services. Access to the zone has been made easier with improvements to road networks and the construction of world-class port facilities and a nearby airport.

TMHH Executive Chairman YB Datuk Hajah Norah Tun Abdul Rahman said the Sarawak facility is poised to become one of the key nodes of SCORE.

“Tanjung Manis Halal Hub is positioned to be the Food & Agriculture Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of SCORE,” she said. “The Halal Hub will assist the Sarawak economy by producing raw materials for food products such as fish, prawn, corn and maize for the local and international market.

“This will help to reduce import bills. The Halal Hub is intended to address the food security issue affecting the world right now, which is witnessing a food shortage due to natural disasters and the shifting from agriculture to other developments, such as those seen in Thailand and Vietnam.”

While many halal centres exist around the world, Datuk Norah TMHH will have unique qualities that benefit not only upstream industries but also downstream activities.

Green development

“It will practice green development in every aspect of development, which is quite different from other halal hub and food production centres.  We are at the stage of developing a comprehensive Master Plan to this effect, and scheduled to be completed by year end,” said Datuk Norah.

The first international company to invest in TMHH was Taiwan-based Sea Party International (SPI). Together with its subsidiaries, SPI pledged RM$2 billion in phases. The first phase involved spending RM318 million for aquaculture activities such as tilapia breeding, chlorella cultivation and production of Halal collagen and gelatine. The second phase moves into the production of gelatine from tilapia scales, bones and skin, organic prawn farming and vendor development programmes.

She adds that “Arab nations are the largest net importers of food and cereal in the world due to land scarcity issues and the dwindling availability of arable land that’s suitable for agriculture worldwide. Being an advanced Halal Hub, Tanjung Manis has the advantage of downstream and upstream value chains, where the availability of raw materials for food production via agriculture and aquaculture is our key advantage. Others are merely focusing on mid value chain activities such as food processing when we have the end to end solutions in an integrated development.

Datuk Norah said she expected more investment from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

“We have received many enquiries such as integrated prawn farming, stevia plantation and corn plantation,” she said. “Since the road show in Abu Dhabi, we have received many general enquiries from the Middle East on agricultural projects as well.

“We are always trying to promote and attract more investors who are concerned with food security to come and visit TMHH. We also have plans to have road shows to Japan, China, Europe and Middle East next year.”

Apart from attracting foreign investors and addressing food security issues, TMHH is also expected to create jobs for Sarawakians.

“In terms of providing job opportunities to many agriculture graduates in Malaysia, TMHH will offer more jobs relating to their qualification,” she said.

“Malaysians will benefit via technology transfer such as from Taiwan, on the latest aquaculture technology, by working in TMHH.  Also by being a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) as proposed, there will be many financial and tax incentives planned for people working there.

“Overall, TMHH will also eradicate poverty, improve rural development and resolve the food security issues for the nation.”

Overall benefit

As an integral part of SCORE, the activities of TMHH is aimed at helping Sarawak achieve high-income status by 2020 in tandem with federal government ambitions.

The Sarawak government has invested up to RM1.3 billion in Tanjung Manis to modernise infrastructure and public network.

To support TMHH objectives, the Universiti Teknologi Mara Sarawak is introducing fresh programmes in herbal and halal food production leading to diplomas and degrees, including aquaculture and microbiology.

The courses are aimed at fulfilling TMHH’s demand for skilled manpower as more investors and industries move into the hub.

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