Sustaining Global Food Security: Enza Zaden Asia’s First South East Asia R&D Facility in Malaysia Extends Agriculture Seed Research For The Region And Beyond
Perak, 14 April 2022 – Enza Zaden Asia Sdn. Bhd., the Netherlands’ leading vegetable breeding company, announced the completion of its first South East Asia Research and Development (R&D) infrastructure facility in Perak, Malaysia. This milestone expands Enza Zaden’s network in vegetable seeds research and agricultural development through its 45 subsidiaries and three joint ventures in 25 countries. The R&D facility based in Malaysia is set to cater the agriculture seed markets in 12 countries in the region and beyond, ultimately serving farmers worldwide to cultivate high quality vegetables, for the daily consumption of over 450 million people globally.
Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) responded positively, “Global players are welcomed to diversify into value-added activities in agriculture and food processing industries. By leveraging Malaysia’s business ecosystem and our established local supply chain, it serves as an ideal destination for companies to establish regional production hubs while also enabling the country to fortify its agricultural-based food production. Enza Zaden’s R&D centre contributes significantly to the national aspiration to implement smart agriculture through the utilisation of agri-technology and sustainable raw materials in line with the national framework for food security and the global initiatives for plant-based proteins to reduce carbon emissions.”
“The growing opportunities in high-value food product manufacturing will facilitate the Malaysian talents in gaining knowledge on new processes and product development, apart from expanding the exports of Malaysian-made food products,” he added.
In 2016, Enza Zaden was awarded BioNexus Status by the Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (Bioeconomy Corporation), an economic development agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries Malaysia (MAFI) that provides support and facilitation to drive the biotechnology and bio-based industries in the country.
Mr. Mohd Khairul Fidzal Abdul Razak, CEO of Bioeconomy Corporation commented, “Enza Zaden is the first global seed player to receive BioNexus Status in Malaysia. With the establishment of this R&D centre, we believe the company could develop innovative seed varities that are suitable for tropical climate and soil conditions. We are confident that the research outcomes from this R&D centre will benefit and uplift local farmers besides contributing to the national food security. We will continue to support the company and we look forward to their future success in adding value to the global seed industry”.
The modernisation of agricultural activities in Malaysia provides farmers with good accessibility in obtaining sustainable raw materials. Continuous research efforts in identifying and modifying seeds varieties which suit the local soil and climate conditions, are crucial to ensure ample supply of vegetables, fruits and crops across the regions. A robust local food production ecosystem would also enhance the food processing industries allowing them to better manage high imports costs and food security requirements.
The Company’s latest investment in Sauk is built with a conducive working environment along with state-of-the-art R&D seed processing and research facilities. Mr. Jaap Mazereeuw, CEO of Enza Zaden expressed, “As part of our initiatives to serve the South East Asian farmers well, we recognised that research and breeding under local conditions are imperative in facilitating a sustainable agricultural systems. After a thorough analysis, the Enza board decided to invest in Malaysia by having an R&D farm of more than 20 hectares. We are committed to empowering many small-holder vegetable farmers across the region. We aim to provide them with solutions and opportunities and to bring a smile to their face”.
Mr. Pankaj Malik, Regional Director of Enza Zaden Asia, added, “Establishing a new office and having a dedicated team of R&D with local experience and knowledge, will help identify the needs of the local growers and the local market. This enables us to develop the best high-performing varieties, totally attuned to the local (climate) conditions”.
Enza Zaden has invested over RM100 million in Malaysia and employed more than 100 local workforce through its existing facility. The Company’s technical training contributes to the capacity building of Malaysia’s agricultural workforce, preparing them for the future ready skillsets. As part of their commitment in promoting agricultural technical knowledge among youth, Enza Zaden also provides internship opportunities for students through its partnership with local universities as well as an education sponsorship programme for students thereby assisting the country’s agriculture industry to flourish .