The main goal of the Agriculture NKEA is to move the industry towards agribusiness, from a previously agriculturecentric focus. This will be achieved through a transformation strategy which covers four key themes, namely: capitalising on competitive advantages, tapping premium markets, aligning food security objectives with increasing GNI, and participation in the regional agriculture value chain.

In 2012, this NKEA surpassed its KPI targets and achieved several significant milestones. A total of 107 anchor companies have received approval to participate under this NKEA so far, with committed private investments of up to RM8.9 billion to generate RM13 billion in GNI and a total of 55,936 jobs by the end of each project’s completion date. Committed private investment for EPPs outweighed public investment 71 per cent to 29 per cent, surpassing the initial 2020 ratio estimate of 60:40.

Most notable was the appointment of Lobster Aqua Technologies Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of US-based Darden Aquasciences, as an anchor company. Lobster Aqua Technologies will develop the world’s first integrated lobster aquaculture park in Sabah under EPP 4: Integrated Cage Farming, bringing in investment of about RM2.03 billion.

Positive developments seen during the year however did not come without its challenges. This included a lack of awareness for innovation within the industry; a shortage of incentives to encourage the participation of more players; and the limited number of companies with sufficient experience to manage value chains across the industry.