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Local company collaborating with 60 smallholders to grow kenaf

ROMPIN, Oct 19 — A local company, Berezki Enterprise, has established cooperation with 60 smallholders in Kampung Merchong, Pekan, near here, for the growing of kenaf to increase output in meeting the high demand for its fibre in the local and international markets.

Its managing director, Mohd Farid Ahmad said the company was targeting growing of kenaf on 60 hectares of land collectively for a start and would expand the effort if the project proved to be successful.

He said this initiative was to take the smallholders to a higher level economically as currently, kenaf was still being grown on a small scale.

“These 60 participants are padi growers who have been growing kenaf to earn a side income.

“We view growing of kenaf collectively as more effective than doing it individually as it is more organised, easier to manage and saves costs towards gaining maximum returns,” he said, here, yesterday.

Meanwhile, his business partner, Ruhzat Abdul Rahim said the project’s main objective was to create job opportunities in the agriculture field, increase the income of the smallholders involved, and generating economy for the local community.

“The kenaf industry is a big one and I hope for full support from the government for us and the smallholders involved. Currently, they are just sending the raw product to the Kenaf Processing Centre in Tebu Hitam, here, to be turned into fibre. Who knows that one day, we can come up with our own products from kenaf,” he added.

One of the smallholders involved, Mohd Latif Ali, 51, welcomed the project by Berezki Enterprise as it could provide good returns later on.

“It’s difficult to go far in this industry if the venture is undertaken individually as there are various constraints involving land, capital and technology. But with the cooperation of the private sector and assistance from the government, it will be easier to achieve success.

It was earlier reported that in Pahang, the growing of kenaf involved 641 hectares of land and 509 farmers, making the state the biggest producer of dried kenaf amounting to 6,000 tonnes worth RM3 million per season this year.

Kenaf (also known as Deccan hemp and Java jute), mainly used in the pulp and paper industry, and as sound absorber, chipboards and livestock feed, also has the potential of meeting the demand of the local construction industry, estimated at RM10 million per year, besides for export. — Bernama

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