JOHOR BAHRU, March 3 -- The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and Johor government will continue to focus on the implementation of strategic development projects in Mersing, especially in the tourism and agriculture sectors to strengthen the local economy and eradicate poverty.
Chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said the council's priority in Mersing was to strengthen the local economy by providing a foundation for sustainable socio-economic development.
"We are leveraging the natural resources in the Mersing district to create new opportunities in the tourism and agribusiness sectors to improve the living standards of the local community," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Baidzawi yesterday attended the ECER’s Johor Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) meeting chaired by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad here.
ECERDC will continue to implement various strategic infrastructure projects under the 'From Rainforest to Reef' (R2R) development strategy as stipulated under the ECER 2.0 Master Plan to boost the tourism sector, Baidzawi said
He said the projects being implemented included the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park’s Information and Services Centre, which is expected to be completed at end-June, to serve as a one-stop information centre for tourists heading to the islands off Mersing, as well a Rural Transformation Centre (RTC) for the rural community.
“Another interesting project is ‘Kampungstay’ in Air Papan, Mersing involving the construction of a resort-themed chalet which aims to transform the concept of traditional homestay.
"The project, which is expected to be completed in March next year, will enable the local community to earn income through a cooperative that will be set up to manage Kampungstay facilities, hence, creating jobs and tourism entrepreneurship," he said.
ECERDC is also upgrading tourism facilities and developing the Rainforest Discovery Centre at the Johor Endau-Rompin National Park (TNJER), Peta, he said, adding that the project, which is expected to start in June, will benefit local entrepreneurs and the Orang Asli community.
Baidzawi said the main agricultural projects in Mersing include the Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV) which focuses on dairy cattle farming and the Endau-Mersing Integrated Fish Processing Centre.
"The construction of JDV is scheduled to begin in the middle of this year and is expected to be fully operational by 2023. It includes cattle pens, dairy areas, a milk processing centre and feed stations for livestock," he said, adding that JDV is expected to increase national milk production by 11 per cent.
The development of the Endau-Mersing Integrated Fish Processing Centre on a 1.15-hectare site, which is expected to be completed in March next year, includes a centralised cold storage, fish and seafood processing facilities, and a production facility.
"ECERDC expects these two projects (JDV and the Endau-Mersing Integrated Fish Processing Centre) to significantly change the agricultural business landscape in Mersing and will be a key driver for the local economy by creating jobs for locals," he said.
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