This EPP, driven by Department of Fisheries (DoF), aims to transform the seaweed
farming industry into a high-yielding commercial-scale business by clustering farms
under the seaweed mini-estate initiative. Through this initiative, total production
of seaweed is expected to rise from 13,500 metric tonnes in 2010 to 150,000 metric
tonnes in 2020.
Measures under this EPP place emphasis on improving downstream infrastructure and
research and development (R&D) efforts to process dry seaweed into high-value
products (e.g. semi-refined carrageenan and alkaline-treated chips), as well as
exploring further uses of seaweed.
In line with this, this EPP’s project team has targeted
the production of 8,640 MT of alkaline treatment chips and semi-refined.
Other efforts undertaken for this EPP include plans by the Sabah State Government
to gazette another 3,000 ha of land for seaweed production. Meanwhile, three universities,
The National University of Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universiti
Sains Malaysia (USM), are in the midst of commercialising eight seaweed products.
- The ownership of this EPP has been transferred from Universiti Malaysia Sabah to the Sabah Department of Fisheries to expedite processes and overcome land matters.
- In 2014, requirements for land titles and leasing periods were reduced to enable companies to join this EPP, with companies possessing three-year temporary operating licences (TOL) from the State Government now allowed to join.
- A cluster programme was introduced in 2014 to offset the production from mini estate companies and support existing smallholders.
- Average productivity of the mini estate and cluster programme increased to 5.52 tonnes per hectare per year in 2014, from 5 tonnes in 2013.