Nilai, 21 May 2017 – The community in Kampung Kondok is set to enhance its social mobility, following the official handover of the MOSTI Social Innovation (MSI) project for the growth of oyster mushrooms to Koperasi Waris Jati Kondok (Koperasi) here today. The project, which was implemented by Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation (Bioeconomy Corporation, formerly known as BiotechCorp) under the Bioeconomy Community Development Programme (BCDP), also has the potential to spur the commercialisation of mushrooms in Malaysia. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) approved the MSI Fund for the implementation of the project, which included training 10 members of the Koperasi, constructing a house for mushroom cultivation and purchasing 100,000 mushroom bags. Members of the Koperasi acquired the relevant knowledge and skills to operate, manage, and produce a consistent and sustainable supply of oyster mushrooms through the project, which ran from 1 August 2016 until 30 April 2017.
Secretary General of MOSTI, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Azhar bin Hj Yahaya who represented Minister of MOSTI, Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, said the local community in Kampung Kondok can experience direct benefits from the project, including creation of jobs, generation of additional revenue and improvement of social mobility of the community in this area. “This mushroom cultivation project allows the participants to generate an income of RM652,000 per annum for 10 mushroom houses, or RM54,000 per month. The contract farming and buy-back guarantee agreement between the Koperasi and BioNexus Status company Frais Fungi Sdn Bhd also has the potential to boost the commercialisation of mushrooms in Malaysia, as the company will receive a sustainable supply of oyster mushrooms to be processed and marketed. This can contribute to the increase of export market for oyster mushrooms in Malaysia and reduce our dependency on imported mushrooms, especially with the rising demand in the local and global markets,” he said.
Frais Funghi has also collaborated with Nuklear Malaysia to provide theoretical and practical training for members of the Koperasi, while University of Malaya supplied the bags that have been injected with mushroom seeds for the participants to cultivate and harvest. Acting Chief Executive Officer of Bioeconomy Corporation, Tuan Syed Agil Syed Hashim said that Bioeconomy Corporation has always stressed the importance of collaborations, particularly between industry players, academia and government agencies to drive bioeconomy in Malaysia. “A collaboration such as this can transform the mushroom industry in Malaysia, while also contributing to the socio-economic development and welfare of local communities. It also accelerates the commercialisation of R&D, an effort that Bioeconomy Corporation has always championed to stimulate socio-economic growth and spur the nation’s economic development,” he said.
As of May 2017, 34 projects involving over 2,700 participants have been implemented under BCDP in various stages. These projects are expected to have an impact on more than 12,150 lives.