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The Joinland Group, a diversified Malaysian conglomerate of varied business interests, is looking forward to the future with optimism, due to two new agricultural projects that are coming onstream in Sarawak over the course of the year
Dato’ Sri Thomas Hah Tiing Siu, the founder of Joinland, said, “We have decided to invest in the agricultural aspect of our business, both to diversify income for the overall group and because it’s clear as that there is both high and growing demand particularly for fresh pineapple/coconut and pineapple/coconut-based products from neighbouring countries, the Middle East and China. We began pineapple and coconut planting in the Sungai Rait and Kuala Baram areas of Sarawak earlier this year. We believe that this will create an important revenue stream for the business moving forward.”
According to Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) Malaysia exported RM419 million in pineapple products in 2019, a 60% increase over 2018, and the Ministry also predicted annual growth for the industry exceeding 5%. Likewise, while coconut is currently Malaysia’s fourth largest industrial crop, behind oil palm, rubber and rice, coconut products’ demand has also been growing rapidly driven by higher awareness of the health benefits of the fruit.
As part of its agricultural focus, Joinland has invested in R&D, technology and automation to ensure the best productivity, fruit quality, storage and delivery in the industry. Joinland will be planting the ‘Matag’ variety coconut and the ‘MD2, N36 and Josapine’ pineapple variants.
The company is focusing on downstream processing to ensure value creation for its agricultural products and to ensure compliance with food and safety standards (HACCP, Halal, GMP, MesTi, etc.), which will, in turn, ensure the marketability and premium pricing of these products through the company’s international partnerships and sales channels.
The Joinland Group, which is headquartered in Miri, Sarawak, is involved in many different businesses including a major agro-forestry project on the island of New Hanover in Papua New Guinea, Swiftlet Farming in Sarawak, real-estate management (including developments in Malaysia, Singapore and China) and substantial investments in seven other businesses in Malaysia, Singapore, China and New Zealand.
Just as it has done for businesses worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Joinland’s revenues and operations in 2020. The biggest impact was on the company’s Swiftlet Farming operations, with both a reduction in the price of edible bird nests (due to reduction of tourism and interstate transportation complications) and operational issues (travel restrictions) which limited oversight of the production houses.
Sri Thomas Hah Tiing Siu, commented, “We expect that things will gradually improve in 2021, although this may take a while. Many of the very severe restrictions that were imposed with the first Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia have gradually eased, which has helped. Still, we will continue to face challenges in 2021, particularly in the Swiftlet Farming element of our business due to the low-price of edible bird nests, labour supply issues and increased operational costs due to higher transportation charges. This is why we are delighted to have got our new agricultural projects underway.”
Dato Sri Thomas, said, “Despite the unpredictable nature of life at the moment, I am confident that Joinland Group is well positioned to ride out any further turbulence thanks to the wide ranging and diverse nature of our business. We are excited about what the future holds and are looking forward to growing the business further during 2021.”