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KUALA LUMPUR: The people of Mersing, Johor are also beneficiaries of the East Coast Economic Region Development Council’s (ECERDC) empower East Coast Economic Region (ECER) and entrepreneur ECER programmes while looking forward to exciting developments in agriculture and tourism projects.

In a statement today, ECERDC said the programmes are aimed at developing sustainable micro, small and medium entrepreneurs as well as talents of the future in uplifting the socio-economy of the local community.

It said from 2018 to date, ECERDC, through its strategic partnership with Agrobank and Maybank, has developed 92 entrepreneurs in Mersing, who have received loans to support and expand their businesses.

“While another 31 entrepreneurs are currently undergoing product quality development with SIRIM in preparation to penetrate a broader market.

“The above programmes have enabled the entrepreneurs to not only sustain but even grow their businesses during the pandemic by harnessing the knowledge gained on e-commerce and online marketing from the programmes as well as the financial assistance provided,” it said.

ECERDC said its vision is to transform ECER into a major food production hub for the nation through its agrofood@ECER initiative which is now under planning and at the same time addressing the nation’s food security concern as well as creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the rakyat.

It said among the ongoing projects Jemaluang Dairy Valley (JDV), a key agribusiness project which focuses on dairy cattle farming, that when completed is expected to increase national milk production by 11 per cent.

The council also remain committed to ensure high impact tourism projects like Kampungstay in Air Papan, a community-based homestay development, Sultan Iskandar Marine Park and Information Centre (PIPTLSI) in Pulau Besar that served as a one-stop centre for locals and tourists and Rainforest Discovery Centre in Peta which is located in Endau-Rompin (Johor) National Park.

“These projects will bring about long-term benefits for the people of Mersing.

“Despite the setback of the pandemic which has adversely affected the socio-economic progress of Mersing which is heavily dependent on tourism activities, ECERDC is cautiously optimistic of a rebound especially with the encouraging news of relaxation of travel restrictions for those who have completed their vaccination,” it said.

Chief executive officer Baidzawi Che Mat said the federal government, through ECERDC, is committed in continuing its programmes to ensure the B40 group, especially in Mersing, are provided with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to sustain their businesses and improve academic performance and gain marketable skills.

He said ECERDC, together with all parties involved from the federal government, state government and relevant agencies would continue to work together to build the people’s resilience and competitiveness.

“ECERDC also remains confident that the ongoing agriculture and tourism projects will bring spillover benefits to the people as both sectors remain a viable source of economic activity in the near term,” he added. – Bernama

ECERDC CEO Baidzawi Che Mat

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