Uggah (fifth left) and some guests with the winners of various competitions during the opening of Kapit Agrofest 2019.

KAPIT: Bukit Goram assemblyman Jefferson Jamit Unyat has advised farmers to venture into modern farming by developing their idle land.

“Most people in this division are rural farmers. They have a lot of unused land. The state government has allocated RM1.5 billion through the Upper Rajang Development Authority (Urda) to implement infrastructural projects — roads, electricity and piped water. Thus, I advise farmers to take advantage of the roads to develop their land for modern and (when possible) commercial farming,” he said last Saturday evening while officiating at the closing ceremony of this year’s Agrofest Kapit 2019 held in the compound of the State Office Complex at Jalan Bleteh.

“The goal is to increase yield for both the local market and markets elsewhere including for export. Don’t be bystanders. You’d miss the opportunities provided by the government.

“I was told that most of the vegetables and meat sold here are from Sibu as local farmers can’t meet the demand. Take the ‘Agriculture is Business’ challenge and adopt modern technologies to develop land for commercial farming.

“Now that the collecting, processing and packaging centre (CPPC) has been approved for Kapit, popular indigenous fruits like ‘isau’, ‘dabai’, ‘rambutan’, ‘durian’ won’t be just for the local market, but also for markets elsewhere.

“The government has allocated RM2 million for the purchase of ‘Musang King’ durian seedlings to be distributed to local farmers. Now, Sarawak is supplying durians to China. ‘Musang King’ begins to bear fruits after five years with proper maintenance.”

He called on longhouse chiefs, penghulus and other community leaders to do census on the number of fruit trees under their jurisdictions. For example, Sungai Yong is famous for ‘dabai’ and ‘isau’, so he asked them to compile lists of fruit trees and submit them to Kapit Agriculture Department for planning purposes.

“With the proper census the department would know the projected or estimated output and how best to assist the farmers. I hope that farmers would also cooperate with their headmen,” he said.

Uggah (fifth left) and some guests with the winners of various competitions during the opening of Kapit Agrofest 2019.

Jamit thanked the government to organise the Agrofest in Kapit. He described the three days activity from held from 27 to 29 September as success because of the large numbers of the farmers and local turned up in full force to attend the various activity slotted to coincide with the programme.

Also present at the function were Modern Agriculture, Customary lands and Regional Development Assistant Minister Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang, a political secretary to the chief minister Nicholas Kudi Jantai, Institute of Modern Agriculture (Commercial and Training) sectional head, Dr Gluma Saban; Agriculture deputy director Ngab Dollah Salam; Agriculture assistant director, Dominic Chunggat; Agriculture assistant director, Badin Unor; Kapit Deputy Resident, Galong Luang; Kapit District Officer, Cerisologo Sabut; Song District Officer Jacklyn August; Kapit Land and Survey Superintendent, Sagu Unting; and  Temenggong Wilfred Billy Panyau.