Lister (third left) handing over the coffee cultivation project application forms to Jerip.

KUCHING: An outreach programme (AgriCOP) was held in Bunuk recently to promote large-scale coffee cultivation in the Mambong constituency.

On Sept 12, Assistant Minister of Transport, Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, officiated at the outreach programme held at St Paul Parish Hall, Bunuk.

The event was organised jointly by Persatuan Segu Bunuk and the Sarawak Agriculture Department, Kuching Division.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, the Mambong assemblyman said that coffee would be the main crop for large-scale cultivation in Mambong.

He added that 23,000 acres of land had been identified for the purpose.

The outreach programme, he explained, would contribute to this aim besides providing knowledge to all participants and preparing them for the coffee project.

Persatuan Segu Bunuk chairperson, Lister Nonem Moteng will be responsible for ensuring the success of the project, which will be implemented in groups and involve seven villages under Persatuan Segu Bunuk.

This is the association’s main goal in order to improve the living standard and socioeconomic status of the villagers

During the opening ceremony, Lister handed over project application forms from 150 applicants along with a letter of request to Jerip for a fund of RM750,000 for the project.

According to Jerip, this coffee planting project is open to all villagers who are interested and who have land to cultivate.

He also revealed that the government planned to build a coffee processing plant, which would also serve as a collection, processing, and packaging centre (CPPC), at the Padawan Rural Growth Centre in Bayur.

He also emphasised that all participants must document their native customary rights (NCR) land.

This process, he explained, could be done through the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA). Land title letters would then be issued to them by the Land and Survey Department (JTS) under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code.

One hundred and fifty people participated in the outreach programme on Sept 12.

It featured briefings on coffee cultivation technology and the application procedure for the coffee cultivation project in groups by the Sarawak Agriculture Department, Kuching Division.

Participants were also briefed on chilli cultivation technology via fertigation. Later, they participated in a talk session with representatives of agricultural companies which had succeeded in using the open chilli fertigation systems and online agricultural project marketing methods.