BY SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA & NATASHA JEE
SERIAN: Farmers and livestock breeders are urged to play their respective roles in helping the Sarawak government achieve its goal of making Sarawak a net exporter of agriculture products by 2030, said Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben.
“I believe that we have the potential to be an agricultural hub because our land is very fertile. However, our farmers and livestock breeders still require assistance from the government especially in terms of technology and modernisation for their agriculture activities in order to increase their productivity and crop yield.
“I hope that the government will continue to provide assistance for us to further develop the agriculture activities in these lands. This will enable our farmers and livestock breeders to contribute in the pursuit of making Sarawak a net exporter of agriculture products and a developed state by 2030,” he said.
He said this during the closing ceremony of the Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) at Balai Babuk Barum, Bunan Gega today.
A total of 200 farmers and livestock breeders participated in the two-day programme (Oct 15 to Oct 16) jointly organised by the Serian Agriculture Department, Kedup Constituency Service Centre and the Serian Area Farmers Organisation.
“This is the second time a programme like this has been organised here. There are many requests from our farmers and livestock breeders wanting to join but unfortunately, we can only invite 200 participants due to the standard operating procedure (SOP).
“Programmes like this are very beneficial because participants can gain more knowledge which can benefit their agriculture activities as well as for them to be informed about the government’s policies,” he said.
Martin added that with more allocation given by the state government to conduct similar programmes, it will not only increase the farmers and livestock breeders’ livelihood but also contribute to the state’s economy.
In the meantime, he also suggested for the establishment of a service centre in the area which will include the setting up for a collecting, processing and packaging centre (CPPC).
“We are planning to set up a service centre located near the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) Mongkos. It is still in the planning process and we hope that it will be approved by the state government,” he said.
The closing ceremony was officiated by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who is also the Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development.