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MPIC will work with agencies to build houses using kenaf-based IBS technology, says Zuraida

SETIU (Oct 5): The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) will collaborate with several government agencies to utilise the kenaf-based Industrialised Building System (IBS) technology in developing housing projects.

Its Minister, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin (pictured) said the construction of buildings using kenaf-based IBS technology was more economical, faster with the installation of structures at the construction site as well as cleaner and safer.

“Upon its return from the visits to Terengganu and Kelantan, the National Kenaf and Tobacco Board (NKTB) will formulate a comprehensive marketing plan to empower the national kenaf industry, identify markets, output and potentials and its benefits for the people.

“I see the use of the kenaf-based IBS technology as very suitable for housing projects for military and police quarters and projects under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT),” she told reporters after visiting a centre for the processing and production of kenaf products near Saujana here on Monday.

The RM25 million processing centre, which was completed in 2019, is capable of producing 2,400 tonnes of non-woven thermal bonding kenaf products a year worth RM16 million for the domestic and export markets.

Zuraida, who had the opportunity to visit a model house using the kenaf-based IBS technology near the processing centre, is also confident that more kenaf farmers will be able to benefit directly if the government agreed to implement housing projects using the new technology.

“Basically, a hectare planted with kenaf can produce enough of the commodity to build two units of houses. In Malaysia, we currently have 2,000 hectares planted with kenaf, which can meet the demand to build 4,000 units of houses.

“Maybe, a pilot project can be implemented with KPKT and, at the same time MPIC, specifically NKTB, will expand further the campaign to plant kenaf among smallholders, maybe 10,000 or 20,000 hectares more in the next five years, this must be looked into in detail,” she said.

In this regard, she suggested that individuals owning farming land grab the opportunity to plant kenaf because it has a bright future in the market.

“The NKTB provides incentives to plant kenaf, which encompass supplying seeds, fertiliser, farming input and mechanised services. To date, 1,000 farmers have enjoyed the incentives,” she added.

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