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KUALA LUMPUR: Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd will import 4,000 dairy cows with a potential output of 40 million litres of fresh milk per annum under Phase One of its mega dairy farm project in Chuping, Perlis.

Its chief executive officer Lim Yew Hoe said the first box of fresh milk was expected to be rolled out within 24 months after the start of the project.

“In the longer term, Ladang Chuping will be capable of hosting 20,000 dairy cows to produce 200 million litres of fresh milk yearly, enabling the group with the capacity to export fresh milk from being a nett importer of fresh milk,” Lim said at a briefing on F&N’s results for the year ended September 30, 2019 today.

The project will be implemented in two phases with a total investment of RM850 million.

It will be financed by a mixture of internal fund, bank facilities and commercial papers.

F&N hopes to get the regulatory approval in the next six month for its acquisition of 4,454-ha leasehold Chuping land.

Lim said the company was banking on fresh milk as its new pillar of growth as it saw more than 50 per cent potential to grow the consumption from the current consumption of three per cent.

“Currently, the average Malaysian consumes 49 litres of milk a year valued at some RM5 billion, of which 78 per cent is in the powdered milk format. Fresh milk consumption is only a fraction of total dairy consumption.

“The integrated dairy farm will propel the group’s ambition of becoming a major player in the health and wellness segment to the next level, with fresh milk as its new pillar of growth,” he added.

With the new integrated farm, Lim said F&N would support Malaysia’s health and food security agenda and at the same time be self-sufficient in the supply of locally-produced fresh milk.

“When fully completed, the farm located on 4,454ha site will contribute towards the nation’s food security, providing 200 million litres of fresh milk and up to 5,000 livestock annually.

“The farm will also allow the group to achieve self-sufficiency , thus reducing dependence on imported milk and to provide Malaysians with a choice of nutritious and affordable fresh milk and dairy products,” he said.

Currently, Lim said Malaysia’s total dairy production was under 40 million litres with self-sufficiency at only three per cent in 2015, citing the Department of Veterinary Services.

F&N recorded a 5.3 per cent growth in revenue to RM4.08 billion from RM3.87 billion in 2018.

It achieved its highest ever pre-tax profit of RM533 million, a 25.7 per cent hike from RM424.1 million last year.

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