KUCHING: The Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity, and Regional Development is looking at achieving RM1 billion worth of shrimp exported by 2030.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said currently, Sarawak has exported RM400 million worth of shrimp.
“The development of the fisheries sector is further enhanced with the involvement of Sarawak State Farmers Association (PPNS).
“PPNS has recently formed a joint venture company with a local private company to develop 268 hectares of land in Rambungan Aquaculture Industry Zone (AIZ) for commercial shrimp farming.
“The Sarawak government has also approved a sum of RM52 million to LCDA Agribusiness Sdn Bhd for the development and upgrading of infrastructure and facilities at Loba Stoh Aquaculture Park, Rambungan in Kuching Division to boost the production of fisheries.
“The works are expected to commence in 2023 and once completed, it is expected to attract more investors to venture into high-value shrimp farming,” he said in his ministerial winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today (Nov 30).
“To boost the development of the fisheries industry, my ministry is also in the process of identifying other suitable areas to harness the vast land resource along Sarawak coastline.
“Approximately 7,000 hectares of land is required to achieve this target. This initiative is aimed to increase the export volume of aquaculture produced through mass production of popular aquaculture commodities such as shrimp, tilapia, and seabass,” he said.
To date, he said a total of 1,422 hectares has been gazetted for AIZ, which includes Rambungan Loba Stoh, Sundar Awat-Awat and Batang Ai.
“Under the 11 Malaysia Plan (11MP), the Department of Agriculture (DOA) Sarawak has developed 40 new cage culture farmers for red tilapia at Batang Ai AIZ and 30 new cage culture farmers at Sundar Awat-Awat AIZ for sea bass rearing.
“In 2021 and 2022, Batang Ai AIZ produced 1,081 metric tonnes worth RM14.9 million while Sundar Awat-Awat AIZ produced 62.3 metric tonnes valued at RM1.5 million,” he said.
In 2022, Rundi said a sum of RM2.99 million has been spent to assist in providing cages, feed, fry, and other related inputs to 15 enterprising farmers at Batang Ai AIZ, and it is expected that the production of tilapia in Batang Ai will increase significantly.
To harness the vast water bodies in Sarawak such as hydro dam lakes and large network of rivers, he stressed the Sarawak government will continue to develop the inland fisheries as the key contributor to food export value.
“Under the 12MP, DOA Sarawak has been allocated a sum of RM4.0 million for the development of aquaculture projects involving smallholders and semi-commercial aquaculture industry players development.
“In 2023, a sum of RM1.2 million has been allocated to implement various aquaculture and inland fisheries projects in addition to a sum of RM300,000 that was disbursed in 2022 which involved 19 aquaculture entrepreneurs and 85 Tagang projects throughout Sarawak,” said Rundi.