KUCHING: The Sarawak government through the State Agricultural Department has launched a book on managing pest problems for the agriculture industry.

The book entitled “A Pictorial Guide to Fruit Pests in Sarawak” serves as a reference and useful guide for extension agents and farmers to identify and manage pest problems in fruit crops.

“Pests and diseases are two of the critical factors that affect crop production,” said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

His text of speech was read by Agriculture, Native Land & Regional Development assistant minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Ismail during the Research Officers’ Progress Meeting (ROPM) 2019 at a hotel here yesterday.

“Therefore, I would like to stress on the importance of research and development on pests and diseases of crops deemed important to Sarawak.

“On this aspect, I am very honoured to be invited to today’s event and later, to launch a book titled A Pictorial Guide to Fruit Pests in Sarawak.”

Dr Abdul Rahman (centre) with (from left) State Agriculture Department senior assistant director (Research) Dr Wong Mee Hua; State Agriculture Department acting director Dr Alvin Chai Lian Kuet; Ministry of Modernisation Agriculture (Commercialisation and Industrial Training’s Section) Dr Gluma Saban and State Agriculture Department senior assistant director (Crop) Ronald Ripid after the launch of the book on pest control. Photos: Mohd Alif Noni

Uggah congratulated the researchers involved in the production of the book and hoped that more research and development would be conducted on the subjects with the help of ICT and digital technology.  

On commodity crops, the deputy chief minister said the market price for food crops was subjected to supply and demand.

“With large scale planting of food crops, oversupply of crop produce is inevitable and at times, especially during the fruiting season, we could see a drop in the market price and large volumes of unsaleable produce.”

He stressed the need to intensify downstream research and development activities as well as convert lower grade produce into high value export grade products.

Also present were state Agricultural Department acting director Dr Alvin Chai Lian Kuet and Regional Development head and representative of Agriculture Modernisation Ministry acting permanent secretary Salmah Jobell.