Agrobased Industry or Agro-processing Activity in Malaysia are one important components in Agriculture development programme under Ministry of Agriculture and Agrobased Industry and few other ministries. The aim of this program is to increase farmers income and produce more processed food from various raw material from crop, animal and fish. Referring to MOA annual report the numbers of entrepreneurs or farmers involved in agrobased industry project in 2010 are 4,185 and produce various type of product valued at RM 302.5 million. In 2005 there were only 3,472 entrepreneurs involved in agrobased industry project with total value of RM 143.30 million.
There are 15 category of agrobased project reported by Department of Agriculture mainly in food processing activity. The category are Makanan Tradisional (Traditional Food), Kerepek , Cake/Pastry, Makanan Ringan (Scafk Food), Makanan Sejuk Beku (Frozen Food), Lain2 Makanan (Other Food), Hasilan Kacang Soya (Soybean Product), Sos (Sauce), Makanan Basah (Wet Food), Hasilan Kelapa (Coconut Product), Mee, Jus/Kordial/Hasil Buah2an (Juice/ Cordial/ Fruit base product), Rempahrratus/ Minuman Herba (Herbs/ Herbs Drinks), Taugeh/ Cendawan (Bean Sprout/ Mushroom Product) and Kraftani (Agro Handycraft). This article about to share about information and technology in agrobased industry in Malaysia based on few reports and my own experience in this sector for 25 years.
Kerepek contribute the highest in value with RM 70.0 million in 2010 followed by Traditional food at RM 54.0 million. There are 400 entrepreneurs in this category. Among popular kerepek produced in Malaysia was Tapioca Kerepek, Banana Kerepek, Sweet Potato Kerepek and Yam Kerepek. Other kerepek produced are Sukun Kerepek, Tempe kerepek and few others. Johor and Selangor are two states produce more than 60% of kerepek production in Malaysia. In Johor few entrepreneurs earn gross income more than one million by processing kerepek such as Azhar Food, Salleh Food and few others use modern technology and equipment for their production. The price of tapioca has been increase from RM 6.00 per kilogram in 2005 to RM 6.00 - 10.0 to RM 12.00/ kg in 2010. Lack of raw material such as tapioca, banana and yam among few issue in kerepek production.
Traditional Food production increase from RM 30.2 million (966 entrepreneurs) in 2005 to RM 50.5 million in 200 involving 960 entrepreneurs. Among popular traditional food such as Rempeyek, Kueh Batang Buruk, Bahulu, Kueh Cincin, Akok and many others. Pastry Food Processing contribute RM 35.0 million involved 333 entrepreneurs. Frozen Food also considered growing agrobased industry with RM 22.0 million with 375 entrepreneurs in 2010. Among popular frozen food such as Frozen Curry puff, Frozen Roticanai, Frozen Samosa, Frozen Donut and many others. The above report mostly are family business in rural and sub-urban area.
Private company involved in agrobased industry almost double or triple from the reported above with bigger scale of production. Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) which involved mini or medium factory size and more than 5 employee is not reported in the category. The SME agrobased industry managed by a company with bank loan and proper marketing channel. The is a better future in agrobased industry development program with a 'HALAL' status certification Program and export potential throughout the world.
Agronomist and Extension Agent