Malaysia gets funds for aquaculture R&D

LTT Aquaculture Sdn Bhd, the pioneer in commercial breeding of ikan empurau, has been awarded a RMB 1.5 million government grant to fund its research activities into the highly-prized fish.

The grant from Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry is part of a three-year flagship program on the development of the sustainable Malaysia mahseer/empurau/kelah aquaculture.

LTT Aquaculture is the first fish breeder in Sarawak to receive the grant, which is aimed at enhancing the company’s production of farmed empurau. Also participating in the flagship program are the Tarat Agriculture Station near here, Pusat Pengembangan Akuakultur Perlok and Sabah Fisheries Department.

LTT Aquaculture managing director Bill Lu Thian Tack said the grant success was the culmination of more than 12 months of negotiations and technical appraisal of the company’s research and development (R&D) proposal.

The proposal was guided by Prof Clem Kuek, who recently took up the appointment as the Dean, R&D at Curtin University Sarawak.

“In the past few years when we were busy developing our fish farm and business, R&D was a low priority. However, now that we have established the business, we are very much interested in working out the technical basis of our success so that our operations can be secured and expanded,” Lu told The Star yesterday.

The LTT Aquaculture farm in Asajaya near here currently has some 20,000 tails of empurau of various sizes.

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