MIRI: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has proposed upgrading Agriculture Research Centre Kabuloh to a regional research extension centre.
He said Kabuloh station was established in 1964 to specifically focus on oil palm production covering an area of 552 hectares.
Uggah, who is Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, said only if an upgrade is done could the centre handle agricultural production in the northern region.
He said the state government aims to increase agricultural production of the northern region in a bid to boost both farmers’ income and state revenue by exporting the farmers’ products.
“Upgrading Kabuloh station goes well with the government’s policy on agriculture,” he said after the launch of ‘Pesta Durian Kabuloh 2019’ (Kabuloh Durian Fest 2019) yesterday.
Currently, the only centralised agriculture research centre for the whole of Sarawak is in Semenggok, some 12 miles outside Kuching city.
“I will submit the full proposal on the upgrading of Kabuloh station into a regional research centre to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg soon,” Uggah added.
Some 3,400 farmers were given Musang King seedlings by the Sarawak Agriculture Department yesterday.
Uggah advised the local farmers to learn the right planting techniques to achieve the best fruit quality.
“The agriculture department (Sarawak) will be organising courses to help farmers how to grow quality Musang King durian,” said Uggah.
He said Sarawak via various new initiatives and strategies, hopes to export its agricultural products to Singapore, Brunei and China.
“Sarawak is aiming to become a net exporter of food products by 2030, that is why we under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) are developing the agriculture sector,” said Uggah, who was accompanied by his wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang.
Also present were Deputy State Secretary Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Agriculture Assistant Minister Abdul Rahman Ismail, Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, and acting director of the Sarawak Agriculture Department Dr Alvin Chai.