News From : DagangHalal.com (28 May 2009)
The Sabah state government will explore business opportunities to market local halal food products that are agriculture- based in the East Asean Growth Area that includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines (BIMP-EAGA).
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin said one of the strategies of the state government was to expand the agriculture-based halal food industry by creating more Islamic Bumiputera entrepreneurs to participate in the field.
“What we need to do is encourage them to commercialise the halal food products that they produce.
“Most Islamic Bumiputera entrepreneurs involved in the production of food products that are agriculture-based, are only doing so on a small scale.
“So, the time has come for them to expand their business to a bigger scale, so that their products can be marketed to the BIMP-EAGA,” he added.
Yahya, who is also the state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said this to reporters after launching the “Test Bed” at the Malaysian Agricutural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Sabah at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, near here today.
The Test Bed is a processing laboratory equipped with machines and equipment as well as a small scale production capability, for selected food products.
MARDI has at present nine such Test Bed technology throughout the country.
Yahya said the halal food industry had the potential to be developed on a commercial scale as it had received encouraging response for products not just in the state but also the BIMP-EAGA.
In this respect, he said, MARDI’s initiative in creating the Test bed is appropriate and timely, especially in exposing halal food entrepreneurs to modern technology in the production of their products.
“MARDI is making available a number of equipment for the production of soyabean products, the processing of sauces, traditional cakes,cordials, meat and fish products as well as for baking,
“So, entrepreneurs in Sabah can undergo training on utilising these equipment,” he said.
Yahya also expressed the hope, that entrepreneurs and food manufacturers in the state would grab opportunities offered by MARDI, for the use of the Test Bed in an effort to enhance the quality of their products as well as modern machinery.