F&N to invest RM650m to turn Ladang Chuping into dairy centre

The land will be capable of hosting 20,000 milking cows to produce 200m litres of fresh milk yearly


FRASER & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) intends to commit about RM650 million of investment for its newly acquired Ladang Chuping in Perlis, including the clearance and purchasing costs of Phase 1 of the agriculture land.

The food and beverage company has proposed to acquire the 4,453.92ha land from MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd for RM156 million.

F&N, in a statement last week, stated it is still evaluating various investment options to develop upstream fresh milk operations.

“In Phase 1 of the project, we will be importing 4,000 milking cows with a potential output of 40 million litres of fresh milk. Subsequent phases will take place upon stabilisation of Phase 1,” CEO Lim Yew Hoe (picture) stated in a release last Friday.

In the longer term, Ladang Chuping will be capable of hosting 20,000 milking cows to produce 200 million litres of fresh milk yearly, giving F&N the capacity to export fresh milk, he added.

With the mega farm potentially housing 20,000 milking cows, mature cows or post-lactation cows can be passed on to feedlot producers for beef purposes and contribute towards beef sufficiency of the nation.

The fully integrated model, with state-of-the-art facilities, will be planned to include sustainable green technology such as solar panel roofing for renewable energy for daily use, bio-digester system to convert waste into bio-gas production to generate energy and repurposing solid effluent as natural soil nutrients, among others.

In addition to the milk processing plant, the integrated project will also develop a knowledge centre for dairy and crop farming and seedling research centre.

F&N intends to collaborate with academic establishments for research and development, and promote local talent pool by providing internships and scholarships for university students specialising in agriculture, animal science, veterinary, nutrition and bio-security management, among others, with future employment opportunities.

“We aim to work closely with local dairy farmers and feed growers to improve productivity and quality through sharing of knowledge and skills in good farming and animal husbandry practices,” Lim said.

He added that the proposed acquisition of Ladang Chuping to establish the country’s first integrated dairy and crop farm is a significant step forward in the agricultural and dairy industry.

“By increasing fresh milk self-sufficiency, the country will become less reliant on milk imports to meet the nutritional needs of Malaysians,” Lim said.

The proposed project will also reduce F&N’s exposure to foreign- exchange fluctuations, currency outflow from the country and the uncertainties in importing fresh milk and feed, while achieving control over the quality of milk from “grass to glass”.

F&N closed unchanged at RM34.22 last Friday, giving it a RM12.55 billion market capitalisation.