New plant promises 2,000 jobs to nearby residents, will need 700 to 800 tonnes of fruit per day
KOTA KINABALU – A RM200 million integrated coconut processing factory will be built in Langkon Kota Marudu following a memorandum of understanding signed between the Linaco Group and Sawit Kinabalu here today.
The agreement is part of four components inked between the Sabah government and the peninsular-based Linaco Group on March 22, 2021. A coconut excellence centre was the first component and was launched by Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor in Beluran in March last year.
The signing of the MoU today was also witnessed by Hajiji and was part of the state’s Sabah Maju Jaya Integrated Coconut Blueprint aimed at “catalysing socio-economic transformation”.
The project’s Land Development Plan and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report had since received approval from the Agriculture Department and Sabah Environment Protection Department in November and December 2022, respectively.
Under the second component, a 30ha piece of land has been identified by Sawit Kinabalu, for the setting up of the factory to be fully operational in five years.
Langkon is strategically placed for the factory due to its central location, access to workers and proximity to KK Port.
The factory is expected to employ more than 2,000 workers from the surrounding communities of Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Kudat and Pitas, and will need 700 to 800 tonnes of coconuts per day – providing local coconut farmers and medium to large-scale planters a thriving and sustainable market.
Linaco will also work closely with the state government to provide smallholder farmers with a financial safety net by continuing to buy their harvests at a minimum floor price, even during the lowest dips in the cyclical chart.
The two other key components of the Integrated Coconut Blueprint are the establishment of a Smallholder Farmers Scheme and the participation of medium to large-scale planters.
Signing on behalf of the Linaco Group is group executive director Joe Ling Hwa Ean while Datuk Bacho Jansie, group managing director signed for Sawit Kinabalu.
Also present were Sawit Kinabalu deputy chairman Datuk Rubin Balang, board members and Linaco senior officers.
– The Vibes, March 30, 2023