KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s biggest producer of coconut fruit-based products has expressed its interest to expand its wings to Sabah.

This was disclosed by Assistant Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Datuk James Ratib, during his working visit at the coconut processing facility of the company, Linaco Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd, recently.

James said the company’s Founder and Chairman, Richard Ling, whom he met and briefed him about its operations, told him the company plan to open up a coconut fruit collection facility in Sabah as part of the company’s expansion to the State.

Ling, however, said that the company would require about 2,000 hectares of land for coconut cultivation in the State before it can set up the said collection facility.

Apart from that, Ling said his company also plans to have collaboration with local people in Sabah where the company will provide them with coconut seedlings for them to plant on their respective land and the coconut fruits harvested will be sold back to the company.

Thus far, the company is relying on coconut fruits supplied by coconut planters and farmers throughout the country for its processing factories.

Linaco Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd is the biggest producer of coconut-based products in Malaysia, presently operating a coconut fruit processing factory each in Selangor and Johor Baharu, which capable of processing up to 500,000 coconut fruits per day.

An application and proposal papers for opening commercial coconut fruit-based industry in Sabah will be submitted to the Sabah Government soon, said Ling.

James welcomed the company’s intention to expand its business in Sabah, saying the coconut industry in the State has a very bright prospect based on the increase in downstream coconut production both domestically and internationally.

He believes the presence of a coconut fruit collection facility, as well as a processing plant, in Sabah will spur the State economic growth apart from providing job opportunities to local Sabahans especially the youth.

James said the Ministry will collaborate with the local farmers in rural areas so they will fully benefit from the initiative made by Linaco Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd and so the company will set up its processing plant, collection facility and also training facilities in Sabah.

The company’s Executive Director, Joe Ling, and other Ministry’s officials were also present. – pr/BNN


James (fifth from left) with Linaco and Ministry’s officials in a group photo during the visit.