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      23 April 2019  

Agro-based talks and incubator programme open to the public during SME AgroBazaar @SDC
 

Kota Kinabalu (Tuesday) - Various programmes and events await the public during the SME AgroBazaar @SDC held on April 26-30, 2019, at the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP), Kimanis. The AgroBazaar is organised by the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) through collaboration with TERAJU, SME Corp, the Department of Agriculture, the Companies Commission of Malaysia, MARA, FAMA, and the Malaysia Co-operative Institute.

The opening ceremony for the five-day bazaar will be on the morning of April 26, 2019, and is expected to be officiated by Datuk Haji Aidi Bin Moktar, the Minister of Law and Native Affairs cum Assemblyman for Pantai Manis, Papar. The first day will also see talks presented to the public by several of the co-organisers, and the public is warmly invited to participate in SME AgroBazaar @SDC.

Members of the public will be drawn in by key event highlights such as:

  • Wholesale agro-based products;
  • Local SME products, 'car boot sale', and food trucks;
  • Talks by government agencies on various agro-SME, human capital development, and entrepreneurship topics;
  • Registration for new SAIP Incubator participants;
  • SDC HotDesk talks on business development;
  • Agro-SAIP course on entrepreneurship potential in pineapple-based agriculture;
  • Tours of SAIP facilities; and
  • Fun agro-based activities and competitions.

The bazaar will provide for business opportunities and serve as a trading platform for entrepreneurs, SMEs and start-ups, allowing them to showcase their products and services. On showcase during the event will be the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) programmes and initiatives for developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneur and agriculture initiatives by the partner organisers, and also the facilities and services available at SAIP.

With an area of approximately 185 acres, SAIP is envisaged as a centre of excellence in agro-biotechnology that optimises the state's biodiversity and abundant natural resources to produce higher value-added food and specialty products based on botanicals, aquatic plants and animals. The machinery and equipment at SAIP include laboratory equipment specific for conducting plant tissue culture, horticulture research, product development, and food analysis. More than 90 types of machinery and equipment are provided for agriculture and herb downstream processing, while SAIP is also undergoing certification for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). A variety of entrepreneurial activities take place in SAIP, which include the Agro-SAIP (downstream-agro training), HotDesk (basic entrepreneurship training), and SDC Bizlink (business advisory services). These activities have assisted numerous entrepreneurs and start-ups to acquire basic knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, establishing business networking as well as discovering new business ventures and opportunities. Hence, besides being known as a centre for biotechnology, SAIP is also known as a centre for entrepreneurship by entrepreneurs and local communities.

During SME AgroBazaar @SDC, the Agro-SAIP programme will cover the high-potential pineapple industry, and response towards registration has been positive. Since its inception in 2012, Agro-SAIP has thus far benefitted 2,021 participants from throughout Sabah over the span of 36 courses. The training programme, which assists local SMEs to enhance their skills, expertise and capabilities, was established with the aim to empower technopreneurs in the agro-based industry, by giving the necessary exposure and transfer of knowledge, especially on the processing of agro-food and specialty natural products. Through Agro-SAIP, participants are given access to experienced speakers and industry representatives in various sectors; speakers well-versed in pharma-herbs, controlled environment farming, post-harvest handling technology, agro-organic and agro-food industries, business and marketing through e-commence, and bio-science and biotechnology had been invited to come and share their experience and expertise with participants.

Meanwhile, the organisers have received overwhelming response to the HotDesk programme. The programme is a preliminary engagement stage that provides entrepreneur training for potential business incubatees. At this stage, these budding entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to discover, test and validate their ideas using systematic tools such as Business Model Canvas (BMC), with guidance from trained SEDIA officers. They are also exposed to the business preparation process including business plans and business pitching, which are crucial for them to familiarise themselves with the actual business ecosystem and setup. This programme is also applicable and of benefit to existing ventures to expand or realign their businesses.

For more information on the bazaar, please call the SEDIA office at 088-450650, or visit www.sedia.com.my.

- Media SEDIA

   
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