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      16 May 2017  

Realisation of SMART mushroom house facility through SEDIA and MOSTI

Kimanis (Tuesday) - A handing over ceremony for a smart mushroom house project was held today at the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP), Kimanis, between the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) and the Agro-Biotechnology Institute Malaysia (ABI) under the National Institute of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM), the latter being one of the three biotechnology institutes under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). The ceremony was also followed by the second phase of a workshop on oyster mushroom cultivation, utilising the SMART grey mushroom house. The SMART mushroom house had been erected at the SAIP demo plot.

The Rural Entrepreneur Development through the Grey Mushroom Cultivation programme is a MOSTI Social Innovation (MSI 16045) project which realised the development of a mushroom house with SMART system functionality at the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP). The installation of sensors to control temperature and humidity parameters through the water flow adjustment, as well as an automatic fan system, ensure the production of high quality mushrooms. The main objective for developing the SMART mushroom house facility is to provide current and potential entrepreneurs with a training centre in grey oyster mushroom cultivation, particularly consistent production using sensor systems. Entrepreneurs were given exposure to these processes during the Workshop Phase 2: Grey Oyster mushroom cultivation using SMART mushroom house programme as well as a chance to observe the seed inoculation of the grey mushrooms. The workshop was presented by Dr Chan Pick Kuen of ABI and is a continuation of the first phase of the workshop (Developing rural entrepreneurs in mushroom cultivation) which had been held on December 16, 2016.

  MOSTI Secretary General Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Azhar Bin Hj. Yahaya delivering his opening remarks during the handover ceremony.

Located at Kimanis, in the district of Papar with an estimated area of 185 acres, SAIP is envisaged to become a new 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. As one of the Entry Point Projects (EPPs) under the Sabah Development Corridor, SAIP will serve as a test-bed for carrying out biotech-driven research and development (R&D) and to develop biotech-driven businesses. Unlike other existing science and technology parks (STP) in other states in Malaysia, SAIP has a distinct focus on Specialty Natural Products (SNP), agro-biotech and health food products.

One of the initiatives available at SAIP is the 1Agro-SAIP Training Programme, which was established with the aim to empower technopreneurs in the agri-based industry, by giving the necessary exposure and transfer of knowledge, especially on the processing of agri-food and SNPs. Through the training programme, participants are given access to experienced speakers and industry representatives in various sectors; speakers well-versed in pharma-herbs, Controlled Environment Farming (CEF), 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. Designed to be a part of the SAIP pre-incubation initiative, the programme also screens and selects potential agro-technopreneurs, thus preparing them to operate under a conducive incubator business environment.

Following up in the incubator stage is the 1BizLink programme, meant to assist aspiring entrepreneurs initiate businesses revolved around downstream agri-products, especially those that utilise science- and technology-based advancements. Through the SDC, the 1BizLink development programme functions by assisting new entrepreneurs and start-ups, unlocking the potential in SMEs to further accelerate their growth, as well as linking businesses to the SDC economic clusters. The programme also provides a Hot Desk service, whereby ready staffs are available to provide hands-on assistance to facilitate and mentor entrepreneurs through discussion, entrepreneurial training and brainstorming sessions.

An accelerator programme is also available for SMEs to further develop their business and enable larger-scale growth, facilitating access to financing for existing Bumiputera SMEs seeking business expansion. These programmes will complement existing Teras and Facilitation grants under TERAJU@SDC which have been implemented in the SDC under the joint supervision of SEDIA and TERAJU.

- Media SEDIA

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