Aqina Farm to enter into Middle East to expand, strengthen its market presence

The company is targeting the Asian markets, but depending on the completion of its new slaughter plant in Johor

by SHAZNI ONG/ pic credit:

AQINA Group of Cos seeks to enter the Middle East market by the first half of 2020, as it wants to expand and strengthen its market presence on the international stage.

Aqina Farm group ED Wesley Tan said the chicken production conglomerate’s entrance into the new export market region will be supported by its new RM30 million slaughtering cum processing plant in Johor, which is expected to start operation by year-end.

“Besides the Middle East, we are targeting (the) Asian markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, but it all depends on the approvals from the authorities there, as well as the completion of our new slaughter plant in Johor.

“The Middle East is our (next) target, after Singapore because we have already established the sale and wholesale markets of pineapple in the Middle East.

“The new plant in Pekan Nanas, Johor, has the capacity to operate and process 8,000 chickens per hour or 64,000 chickens a day in one shift, or twice that amount if it involves two shifts,” he told reporters at the launch of Ayam Nanas (pineapple chicken) in Kota Damansara yesterday.”

Aqina’s pineapple chicken, a white label product, is poised to be an innovative production system whereby the Milie Dilard 2 (MD2) pineapple enzyme is added into chicken feed to enhance the quality of commercially raised broiler.

The MD2 probiotic enzyme, which is extracted from fermented MD2 pineapple, was a breakthrough product from Aqina Farm and UMP Technology Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Universiti Malaysia Pahang.

The enzyme is used in Aqina Farm’s poultry farming practices to replace the use of antibiotics to produce chickens that are free of antibiotic residues and growth hormones.

Tan added that Aqina will continue to expand and invest in its poultry processing and production including breeding of pineapple chickens and be an innovative provider of healthier meat choices.

Aqina is also collaborating with Giant Hypermarket, Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer, Cold Storage, Ben’s Independent Grocer and NSK Trade City among others, to distribute Ayam Nanas nationwide.

“We are also working with farmers who have export certifications by the Singapore Food Agency.

“We are negotiating with them and expect to start exporting to Singapore by the beginning of next year,” he said.

Tan did not reveal the figures of expected sales and production volume.

However, he noted that the company is targeting up to 100,000 per week of production capacity for the pineapple chicken in the coming 12 months, with an estimated revenue generation of RM1.5 million.

“The (pineapple chicken) sales contribute about one-third of our total sales. If we are going to increase production, then we believe it can go up to more than half of the total sales.

“Our market share is estimated at 2% and we believe it will increase as the market is moving towards healthier chickens, which is what we are focusing on right now.

“We target to increase our market share to 30% in the next five to 10 years. However, it all depends on the market and we will follow the market growth (accordingly),” he said.

Aqina’s chicken farm produces three main products — namely red label for kampung chicken which is known as red chicken in the poultry market, black label (black meat and skin) and white label (pineapple chicken).