FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Rich resources to be fully utilised to increase food production and create wealth
THE state will be focusing on the development of biotechnology as it has an abundance of natural resources.
Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said Johor was filled with flora and fauna that were yet to be explored for medical and healthcare applications.
"These resources can increase food production, contribute to environmental protection and create wealth," he said.
Ghani said this in his speech at the opening of the 3rd International Biotechnology and Biodiversity Conference and Exhibition (BioJohor 2012) at Persada Johor International Convention Centre, here, recently.
"Bio-diversity and biotechnology can help us curb food scarcity, a global challenge that prompts us to continue finding ways to produce greater yields in the face of growing populations and increasing costs.
"Biotechnology can play a vital role not only in food production but also in bio-processes that have made it increasingly feasible to produce commercially viable, biodegradable materials such as bio-plastics that is kind to the environment," Ghani said.
"Another challenge is the environmental impact of the ever-increasing consumption of fossil fuels and non-biodegradable materials," he said.
Ghani said Johor would utilise extensive and effective applications of technology in commercialised farming with due focus on bio-security and eco-conservation.
The three-day programme which began June 9, provides a platform for industrial players and researchers to meet and exchange ideas as well as showcase their new products, research and services.
The biennial event that has local and foreign speakers and delegates is organised by Johor Biotechnology and Biodiversity Corporation (J-BioTech), a statutory organisation under the Johor State Government, with the support of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
The event also saw the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between J-BioTech and UTM, to further enhance research work on and application of biotechnology.
UTM students will work with industrial players and share their findings on product development with the corporations.
The MOA was signed by J-BioTech chief executive officer Datuk Dr Haris Salleh and UTM deputy vice-chancellor (research and innovations unit) Prof Dr Mohd Azraai Mohd Kassim.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between J-BioTech and the Johor State Religious Department was signed for the former to receive halal accreditation for its biotechnology products.
In the signing of the MoU, J-BioTech was represented by Haris while the State Religious Department was represented by its director Datuk Abdul Razak Hassan.
The signing of both documents were witnessed by Ghani, who said close collaboration between various agencies would create a suitable regulatory environment that will promote greater biotech research and development initiatives.
J-BioTech has been tasked to identify valuable propositions in the field ofresearch and development and commerce, and to provide financial support and development service to the organisations.
Also present were State Housing, Local Government, Public Works and Public Utilities Committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Zahri Jamil and state religious affairs committee chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Othman.