Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr George Chan, said the government initiated project was to restructure and modernise the pig industry in the state through better pollution management, waste management, disease control, and well as ensuring a balance of trade for livestock.

“With a capacity for a 250,000 standing pig population, it is an integrated modern pig farming area with very strict bio-security and disease control measures, modern bio-gas central waste treatment system, imported parent stocks with high productivity, export standard abattoir, and meat processing facilities,” Chan, who is also state Modernisation of Agriculture Minister, told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two joint venture partners, Green Nature Richness Sdn Bhd (GNRSB) and Singapore Food Industries Ltd (SFI).

GNRSB’s managing director, Dr Ng Siew Thiam, signed on behalf of the local company which, as the anchor farm, will look into the breeding, multiplication, and production farms to produce about 300,000 pigs a year.

The Sarawak company will also operate a meat processing factory in the PFA for exports to Singapore and other potential markets besides being entrusted to be part of the PFA management team together with the State Veterinary Authority and Farmers Organisation.

Signing on behalf of SFI, a public listed company on the main board of the Singapore stock exchange, was Philip Lim Feng, director of regional development.

On the progress of the PFA, Chan said the infrastructure development was being carried out by the government, through state and federal fundings, with the pig farmers anticipated to move in next year.

It would take 10 years to reach the full capacity of housing 250,000 standing pig population in the PFA, an integrated production area with upstream and downstream activities like feed mills, nucleus breeding farm, abattoir, and meat processing plants, he said. Sarawak has been declared as being free from the foot and mouth disease as well as other infectious diseases, including the African Swine fever and Nipah Virus.

Another market advantage for Sarawak is the proximity of Kuching to Singapore, which is 460 nautical miles from the Kuching port, making it convenient for the transportation of live pigs, as well as chilled and frozen pork, Chan said.

Two other PFAs have been also identified in Sarawak, a 500 ha-site in Selangau near Sibu and another in Miri.