Johor allocates RM51 mln to transform agricultural, food industry

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ISKANDAR PUTERI, Nov 26 — Johor has allocated about RM51 million to transform its agriculture and food industry, in line with the state food supply guarantee programme, said Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

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He said that through the allocation, the state government would implement various programmes including the food supply guarantee programme with an allocation of RM6 million, involving a cultivation area of 2,168 hectares.

“Johor government will also implement a paddy yield improvement programme with an allocation of RM6 million, apart from exploring new export markets and the development of agro-entrepreneurs as well as the meat and ruminant industry,” said Hasni when tabling the state budget at the Johor Legislative Assembly here today.

To show the government’s appreciation towards the leading companies and entrepreneurs in the agriculture and agro-food sectors, for the first time, a grant of RM2 million to implement the collaboration programme will be provided, he said.

He said that the Johor government will also increase pineapple production with an allocation of RM19 million as 58 per cent of the Malaysian pineapple cultivation area is located in Johor, he said.

“The Johor government will also gazette five areas as the Fishing Industry Zone (ZIP), namely, Mawai, Kesang Laut and Parit Keroma for freshwater fish farming; Kukup for mussels and Sungai Johor for marine fish,” he said.

To drive and revitalise the tourism sector post-COVID-19, the state government has also allocated RM14 million to Tourism Johor to implement several initiatives, including reviewing the Johor Tourism Master Plan 2014-2023.

“Apart from that, a total of RM500,000 will be allocated to develop the Johor Tourism Interchange (JTI) to transform the digital tourism economy that will connect all product owners, travel operators and industry players on one digital marketplace platform.

“Tourism vouchers amounting to RM1.5 million are also allocated to revitalise the accommodation segment and selected shopping and retail outlets in the state,” he said.

As for the housing sector, he said that the state government has allocated RM20 million from the trust fund for the construction of the Rumah Insan Johor, an addition to the People’s Friendly Homes project implemented by the federal government in Johor.

Under this initiatives, 400 housing units will be built, he said.

To further boost the construction of Johor Affordable Homes (RMBJ), five districts have been selected for the project for a period of five years, with an allocation of RM310 million.

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“The districts are Kluang, Tangkak, Johor Bahru, Batu Pahat and Pontian, where private and government-linked companies will work together to ensure its success,” he said.

He added that four development parks will also be built in Pontian, Batu Pahat and Johor Bahru through PIJ Holdings.

Meanwhile, the Johor State Water Regulatory Authority (BAKAJ) will be upgraded to the Johor Water Management Board in an effort by the state government to strengthen its water resource management.

Hasni said that the state government was also in the process of formulating the Johor Water Management Board Enactment.

“The state government is very committed to ensuring the quality of clean water for the the people of Johor. Therefore, the state government has agreed to develop water resource management infrastructure,” he said.

Hasni said the state government through BAKAJ was also committed to implementing the Sungai Johor barrage upgrade project, with an allocation of RM2.5 million.

“This project will prevent the penetration of salt water into water treatment plants as well as increase the storage capacity of raw water released from the Linggiu dam,” he said.

Apart from that, Hasni said that in efforts to improve water quality and prevent river pollution, the state government through BAKAJ also provided an allocation of RM1.7 million to implement several initiatives.

Among them, physical and periodic monitoring of rivers which supply raw water to treatment plants using geospatial technology, with an allocation of RM1 million, and the construction of three units of online monitoring systems to monitor pollution and water quality of Sungai Skudai, Sungai Ulu Benut and Sungai Muar, with an allocation of RM700,000.

Also, in a collaborative effort with the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), the smart water treatment plant project and the use of water resources will be implemented, with an allocation from the federal government of RM2 million.

He said for flood mitigation plans, river and estuary dredging projects will be continued, with an allocation of RM20 million, as well as an increase in drainage maintenance allocation to RM40 million.

In terms of environmental sustainability, a total of RM3.53 million is allocated for the river sustainability programme which includes the one district one river (1D1S) programme, with an allocation of RM2 million to provide awareness to the local community on the importance of rivers, and the Sungai Kim Kim rehabilitation programme, with an allocation of RM500,000, in collaboration with four universities.

Hasni also said the state government will develop an integrated scheduled solid waste management centre to address the problem of pollution of chemical waste and scheduled waste caused by illegal disposal. – BERNAMA

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