(From left) Jilun, Sagah and Miro show the Bentong ginger rhizomes.

BAU: The ‘Halia Bentong’ project will begin at Kampung Gumbang with eight hectares, making Kampung Gumbang the main producer of ginger, with an allocation of RM200,000.

The Serembu constituency has identified and three main crops, namely MD2 pineapple, baby corn and Halia Bentong, will be planted over an estimated 100 hectares, through the Agricultural Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP).

The AgriCOP launch was officiated by Assistant Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn on Tuesday (Sept 22).

Seventy-seven participants from various villages in Serembu joined the projects with allocation from the Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF) to the tune of RM500,000.

According to Sagah, the AFF was a special programme to help and improve farmers and breeders in Sarawak.

“For this year, the ministry has approved an additional allocation of RM2 million for Serembu.

“The fund can be used for courses, crop/breeding programmes and also to build infrastructure for farmers, ranchers and fishermen.”

He stressed that the assistance provided by the state government would only be given to those serious in and committed to the projects.

Sagah also explained that technology plantation not only focused on plantation but also marketing.

“I heard that there will be a technology plantation course after the ceremony and it is a good opportunity for the sellers to learn technology marketing.

“I would also like to suggest digital courses be held as the ministry will propose more allocations for technology plantation.”

Sagah said officers from the Agriculture Department would monitor and supervise the participants’ plantations to track their progress.

Meanwhile, Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh said it was important for participants to keep their plantation projects going.

“Don’t spend your money and then come back to the government for assistance. Don’t do that. Always remember to use the profits earned to continue your project.

“Use every penny of government assistance for self-development and agriculture itself.  Not only that, good farming practices should be practised so that the crops are safe and edible,” he added.