KUCHING: There is big potential in shrimp farming using smart farming technology.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said a local company, Sea Horse Corporation Sdn Bhd, was doing this, including using the IoT, in the feeding and water quality management.

“It is also feeding the genetically improved Hawaiian broodstock using locally produced algae.

“This has allowed it to grow tiger prawns up to 150gms in size within eight months.

“The algae stock is jointly developed in a joint venture project between Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, Mitsubishi Corporation and Chitose Group,” he said after a visit to its processing factory in Bintawa near here yesterday.

He said Sea Horse had exported RM61mil worth of shrimp to countries such as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, United Arab Emirate, Qatar and Singapore last year.

“This is very promising. The government will try to help it find more land for its expansion programme,” Uggah, who is Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, said, adding that Sea Horse had signed a MoU with his ministry to be an anchor company for marine products last year.

“It is now adopting a number of small farmers to supply them the feed and fry and later buy from them. It is our hope it can develop more smallholders.”

Uggah was also happy to note that Sea Horse had obtained the necessary food safety standard and certifications such as the GAP, MeSTI, GMP, HACCP, HALAL and  BRCGS for its two processing plants.

Sea Horse executive director Lee Choon Kheng said the company turnover last year was RM127mil.

He said Australia was the biggest buyer of its shrimp at RM15.3mil, followed by China at RM12.7mil.

He said it had also exported RM36.4mil worth of processed jellyfish.

Lee said Sea Horse had now seven farms with 177 ponds.

“We practise smart farming here such as automatic feeding control system instead of being done manually where high protein shrimp feeds are sprinkled automatically.

“There is sufficient fallowing too to allow recuperation of the ecosystem,” he said.