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Thursday, May 26 2016
 

Boeing, Vietjet Finalise Purchase Deal Worth US$11.3 Bln

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 (Bernama) -- VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company and Boeing have finalised an order for one hundred 737 MAX 200 airplanes, valued at approximately US$11.3 billion (US$1=RM4.06) at current list prices.

 
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Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa Technik Collaborate To Set Up MRO Facility

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Bernama) -- The newly established Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd has signed a terms of reference with Lufthansa Technik AG on a strategic partnership framework for a joint venture (JV) to establish a regional maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility.

 
 

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Boeing Reports Two Pct Increase In Q1 Revenue To US$22.6 Bln

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 (Bernama) -- The Boeing Company reported that first-quarter revenue rose two per cent to US$22.6 billion from US$22.14 billion in the same quarter last year due to the increased delivery of military aircraft and continued solid performance.

 

Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa Technik Collaborate To Set Up MRO Facility

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Moratorium Over Transition Of MAS To MAB Extended To May 24, 2017

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Centre To Boost Local Milk Production
 Aviation : Special Interest

By Siti Salwa Shaari

ROMPIN, (Bernama) -- It is hard to miss the white fence surrounding an expanse of napier grass along Jalan Rompin-Muadzam Shah.

The serene view beyond it reminds one of the wide open plains overseas.

Inside the 248.37-hectare area is the Muadzam Shah Cattle Research and Innovation Centre, a facility under the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).

Surrounding the centre is a dairy farm where thousands of cows graze the high-protein napier grass before being milked at the complex within the grounds.

This is where 40 per cent of the fresh cow milk in Malaysia comes from.

FRIESIAN SAHIWAL COWS

The Holstein Milk Company (The Holstein) is the anchor company appointed by the ECERDC to manage the centre.

The operations manager of The Holstein company, Azmi Zainal, said that there are currently 1,703 Australian Friesian Sahiwal cows bred at the facility.

"Some 9,000 litres of milk are produced by 584 cows daily. Milking is done twice a day, at 5am and 5pm," he said.

Each milking process lasts from three to four hours, he told the media during a tour of the facility recently.

Cows would start producing milk by the time they are two years old. For the writer who has never seen cows being machine-milked on a large scale, it was hard not to become awed by the animal's "discipline" throughout the process.

As if they knew it was time to "get to work", the cows would line up to the platform at the end of the milking station to be "bathed", a hygiene-control measure.

"When the gates to the bathing area, the cows would walk towards the milking machines and go into their respective compartments. Workers would then come to clean their udder before hooking it on to the milking machine.

"It seems easy, but it took us a long time to teach the cows this routine. We would have given up if not for the success we had after bringing in a cow experienced in the routine to set an example to the rest of the herd," he said.

FRESH MILK AND YOGURT

To preserve freshness, the milk will be channelled into a collecting tank below 40 degree Celsius.

Azmi said lorries carrying the milk would leave the centre sharp at every midnight to a processing facility in Larkin, Johor. From there, the final product would be delivered to supermarkets under the brand name Farm Fresh.

"All of The Holstein's milk products are in the supermarkets shelves within 48 hours after the cows are milked, because our products contain 100 percent fresh milk. We also don't use stabilizers normally used for flavoured milk products, so that we can ensure the pure taste of milk in ours," he said.

Farm Fresh also produces yogurt and yogurt drinks. Azmi is optimistic that the company would be introducing other dairy products, such as cheeses, in the future.

The Holstein started operating the research and innovation centre since Nov 5, last year. In under a year, it was awarded the winner of the "Excellent Dairy Farm" award at the 8th Malaysian Livestock Industry Awards in September.

Azmi said The Holstein has been working with the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) on the nutritional care and cow breeding.

"The cow we have now is brought in from Australia after research showed that this breed are more suitable for Malaysian weather and fodder. We want to create a second generation of this breed with higher resistance," he said.

 

DEVELOPING AGRO-TOURISM

Azmi said The Holstein also has plans to develop the agro-tourism sector in the area, as the centre is quite popular with the locals as well as college students around Muadzam Shah.

It is not uncommon to see newly-wedded couples conducting wedding photography shoots against the backdrop of the farm and white fence, to get a view akin to that in New Zealand farms.

"We also receive requests from schools who wish to organize field trips to the farm and milk processing complex. However, we have had to reject such requests as we have yet to make the facility suitable to be opened to the public.

"We are looking to remedy the situation and open it to the public in the future. It will be helpful in increasing tourism into Rompin, that is already known for its tasty giant river prawns," he said.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCALS

The centre's development will also open up more job vacancies for the local community, as acknowledged by the ECERDC CEO Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John.

He said that eight of the workers at the centre are Orang Asli while the rest are from the local community.

He said this was in line with the objective set by the ECERDC to have 70 per cent of the manpower from the local by 2016.

"Overall, the minimum target for private investment is RM30 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and as at Nov 2015, RM16 million have been invested. For milk production, we are targeting 4.3 million litres of fresh milk a day, compared with about 3.3 million litres we are producing now," he said.

TRAINING SATELLITE FARMERS

To encourage the local community to participate in livestock breeding, ECERDC is will be launching satellite farmer projects next year, also under the supervision of The Holstein.

Jebasingam said 15 farmers comprising Felda settlers, traditional village dwellers from around Rompin and Muadzam Shah and Orang Asli would be pioneering the effort to create cattle farms according to international standards.

"They only need to have the right parcel of land about two hectares in size for 30 cows. They are expected to earn between RM5,000 and RM6,000 a month from it.

"We will be provide them with all the knowledge and training needed. The Holstein will buy back all the milk from the suppliers at a profitable price as stipulated in the sales and purchase agreement," he said.

Meanwhile, Sahari Engkok, a 33-year-old Orang Asli worker said that after five month working at the centre, he no longer had to worry about his finances. He is earning more than he previously did as a rubber tapper.

"I used to worry when it rains in the morning as it would mean that I would not be able to go out to tap rubber. Here, the basic income is RM900 a month, but can go up to RM1,300 if we do a lot of overtime.

"They also provide for me boarding facilities, so I could save more and be able to send money to my family," said Sahari who hails from Bera, Pahang.

Muadzam Shah-born Syahir Amri Awang, 21, described the centre as a school for him to learn the trade of livestock breeding before engaging into the field seriously by opening up his own farm.

"I work in the food preparation section. The work methods here are vastly different than the traditional way of cattle-rearing as practiced by my parents. It's all knowledge to me."

-- BERNAMA

 

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