KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism International Show 2016 (MAHA 2016) is set to wow visitors with the country’s freshest food produce and associated products.
This year’s event, themed Our Food Our Future, opens its doors to the public from Dec 1 to Dec 11.
Speaking about the biennial exposition, Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) Deputy Director General Mansor Omar said the theme outlines the importance of maintaining food sovereignty as the foundation of the country’s strength. Apart from military and diplomatic strength, Malaysia’s future also depends on its ability to achieve freedom in food production.
“The continuity of food production, meanwhile, depends on successors who have the desire and skills to ensure that the field of agriculture and agrobased
industries continue to prosper and uphold the country’s sovereignty,” he explained.
Three million visitors and RM200 million in business matching is targeted during MAHA 2016. Booths will scatter over 40,000 square metres of exhibition space divided into five clusters namely AgroTourism, AgroIT, AgroTrade, AgroLifestyle and AgroYouth.
Meanwhile, exhibits outside the hall allow visitors to participate in hands-on agricultural experiences sprawled over 240,000 square metres.
The seven outdoor exhibits are held at Laman Padi, Laman Ternakan, Laman Perikanan, Laman Nanas, Laman Herba dan Sayur, Laman Florikultur and Laman Jentera.
SALE AND EXHIBITION OF FRESH PRODUCE
According to Mansor, FAMA is fully involved in an exhibition in the AgroTrade cluster. The four segements under this cluster are expected to draw visitors to the event, namely the Fresh Produce Exhibition and Sale, Floriculture and Agriculture Input, Agro Trade International and Corporate Participation, MAHA 2016 Marketing Transformation Seminar and the Food Empire-Popular Dishes.
“Visitors can make their way to Laman Tiba 1 and Laman Tiba 2 for fresh produce and agriculture input. In this edition, we’ve planned many interesting activities to attract people to MAHA 2016 such as the ‘bakul/baldi full sale’, cooking demonstrations by celebrities, frying jackfruit in large cauldron and much more.
“Meanwhile, we will also showcase corn with a supply of 3 million ears of corn from various districts to be sold at MAHA 2016. Corn based products will also be available, while a castle of fruit is also set to wow the public.”
A variety of soursop based products such as fresh soursop, soursop paste, soursop chips, soursop juice and ice blended soursop will be on sale at the exhibition.
“Soursop was picked as the Fruit of The Event because of its high nutrition content and scientific achievements in growing them.”
Products sold at the event are priced attractively with discounts of between five and 20 percent off the retail price.
THE FOOD EMPIRE
Eversince the popular food segment was created, it has become a platform to introduce and promote popular food from around Malaysia. This includes highlighting popular and exotic dishes from various states.
“This year we have 62 entrepreneurs and 168 dishes to introduce,” he said.
Cooking demonstrations of unique and exotic dishes such as rendang landak (hedgehog rendang) from Selangor, ‘lemang periuk kera’ from Johor, ‘masak lemak cili api belulang’ (rawhide cooked in coconut gravy) from Negeri Sembilan, ‘gulai lemak belalang’ (grasshoppers cooked in gravy) from Kelantan and a plethora of other menu from various states.
MAHA MARKETING TRANSFORMATION SEMINAR
For those who hunger for knowledge, the organiser will also hold seminars to discuss a variety of topics such as business opportunities in the agriculture sector.
The seminars which emphasise on two-way communication between speaker and audience feature successful entrepreneurs such as Irfan Khairi, Coach Hasril, Hairudin Omar and Ab Teoh.
Those interested in taking part in the seminars should register early at seminarmaha.fama.gov.my as spots are limited.
Apart from local entrepreneurs and traders, MAHA 2016 has also attracted the interest of companies from almost 20 countries to join under the Agro Trade International and Corporate Participation cluster.
According to Mansor, local and international firms will be gathered under one roof so that all parties, especially entrepreneurs, exporters, importers and investors can explore new market opportunities.
Countries that will be joining MAHA 2016 include Fiji, South Korea, South Africa,India, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Australia, Iran, Spain, Canada, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Tunisia.
“However, their products are priced by them and not the same as those offered by FAMA. We only give entrepreneurs a platform to carry out their own business matching,” he clarified further.
OPEN TO ALL
Aware of the grievances of visitors from past MAHA events, Mansor said they plan to resolve issues regarding congestion and the exhibition hall being too far from the parking area, making it difficult for them to carry their purchases to their car.
With a target of a total of three million visitors throughout the 10-day event, organisers estimate about 300,000 people to come by each day.
“Among the improvements we are introducing are trams from the carpark and three-wheeled motorcycles to help people carry their purchases. Meanwhile, produce will be brought straight from the fields in stages to give all visitors a chance to buy.
“However, the quantity will not always be the same because agricultural produce cannot be produced in the same quantity each time,” he reminded.
“Purchases can also be made online at agrobazar.com but the items need to be picked up at MAHA.”
The public is encouraged to come to MAHA 2016 and witness for themselves the success of entrepreneurs in the field of agriculture.
“There you will be proud to see the result of technological advancements in agriculture in Malaysia,” Mansor beamed proudly. – BERNAMA