Leading shrimp producer, JEFI Aquatech Resources Sdn Bhd, is collaborating with local and foreign experts on aquaculture research and development (R&D) projects to enhance Malaysia’s aquaculture industry by improving its production through biotechnology.

The collaborations will be for JEFI’s RM375 million integrated shrimp farming project in Penang, which is expected to be fully operational in the next three years.

The JEFI group is an anchor company in the government’s Economic Transformation Programme to spearhead the integrated shrimp farming project to develop Malaysia as a leading shrimp producer in the global halal market.

The project consists of a large scale R&D centre, high-productivity hatchery centres, 800-hectare shrimp farm, frozen and dried seafood processing facilities and a high-capacity cold storage warehouse.

The collaboration will involve five professors and aquaculture experts from China Oceanic Administration, Xiamen University, and Fujian Province Fisheries Research Institute on Technology focusing on hatchery and farming system.

JEFI will also work with Universiti Malaysia Perlis on developing recycling aquaculture and embedded systems for aquaculture and also with Universiti Sains Malaysia to develop novel delivery systems of feed in aquaculture and conversion of aquaculture waste.

Meanwhile, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) chief executive officer, Datuk Redza Rafiq, said the northern region has a number of factors that make aquaculture a viable economic activity, including the availability of diverse fish species and several geographical advantages such as a 700km coastline.

He said NCIA was looking at biotechnology to take aquaculture into the next level.