Uggah (second right) joins other invited guests in an Iban ‘Miring’(thanksgiving/offering) ceremony.

KAPIT: The fertigation smart farming system will be introduced and promoted to more areas statewide next year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said it was the government’s hope that more people would accept and embrace it to help increase the state’s food production.

“This is a clean, trendy system and it does not need much labour or land.

“Applied with the IoT, it is known for its superior productivity,” he said when launching the Kapit Agrofest 2019 yesterday.

Uggah announced a sum of RM2 million had been approved to introduce the system here soon.

“The Upper Rejang Development Authority (URDA) taskforce committee under Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta will undertake the task.

“I am confident when more farmers and agropreneurs here take it up, they can help to produce more vegetables and fruits for local consumption and sales,” he said.

The deputy chief minister also announced another grant of RM2 million to buy Musang King seedlings for distribution to farmers in the division.

Uggah, who is also the Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, disclosed that a Collecting, Processing and Packaging Centre (CPPC) would be set up here to buy any excess durians.

“We plan to sell 200 tons of durian paste to China this year. The Chinese demand for durian is insatiable,” he said.

He added that his ministry would organise a durian maintenance and rehabilitation course here next year so that farmers would know how to take proper care of their trees.

“When you take good care of your trees, you can expect more bountiful harvests,” he said.

On Native Customary Right (NCR) land, he shared some 260,000 hectares here had been surveyed under Section 6.

“We hope to determine how the huge area can be gainfully developed in terms of crop suitability and for other economic activities.

“While some owners may want to develop the land themselves, we may consider joint ventures and invite government agencies and government linked companies to come in,” he said.

Uggah took to task those still accusing the government of trying to grab the people’s land with the Section 6 survey which is to decide between state and NCR land.

“The government has surveyed about 900,000 hectares statewide so far. Of these, about 800,000 hectares have been gazetted as NCR land.

“Can those always making the accusations in the social media tell us how many hectares have been taken away by the government?” he asked.

He was also glad to note that the federal government was also supportive of the Section 6 survey and had approved a sum of RM10.9 million to facilitate the programme.

“I am the co-chairman of the Action Council to monitor the implementation of federal development projects in Sarawak while the other co- chairman is Federal Works Minister Baru Bian who has also agreed with the Section 6 survey,” Uggah said.

The agrofest, held from Sept 27-28, is the fourth to take place this year. It was previously held in Limbang, Miri and Bintulu.

The festival aims to introduce the various development programmes of the government besides promoting agricultural, fishery, breeding and downstream products as well as promoting modern and commercial farming.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing will close the agrofest tonight.

Uggah (second right) joins other invited guests in an Iban ‘Miring’(thanksgiving/offering) ceremony.