A Collection, Processing and Packaging Centre should be built in Meradong to help farmers, particularly smallholders, in the area.
Meradong assemblyman Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing made the proposal in his debate on the motion of thanks to the Head of State’s opening address in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Monday.
“As Meradong is an agriculture based area with numerous smallholders engaging in various agriculture activities, it is of utmost importance that the centre is built here,” he told the House.
He said in the 1990s, a piece of land at Sg. Gemuan was given to Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan Meradong for the use of its members.
“In 2019, the Department of Agriculture allocated RM760,000 to develop the said land but unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the building material price hike, the allocated amount is now way off the estimated cost of over RM3 million,” he pointed out.
He said pineapple has been identified for downstream processing to help farmers to increase their income.
“Moreover, a pineapple scheme by the Malaysia Pineapple Board has also been introduced at Sungai Janting recently covering an area of more than 100 acres.
“All the more reason we should look into the proposed Collection, Processing and Packaging Centre to help farmers in the Meradong area,” he disclosed.
Ding also urged the Department of Agriculture to continue helping farmers by way of improving farm roads and providing agriculture support through fertilisers, pesticides and farm equipment.
He also appealed to Premier Datuk Patingggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to give the green light to a few Projek Rakyat in the constituency namely the proposed improvement of the Bintangor Riverfront, proposed construction and completion of Bintangor swimming pool, proposed construction and completion of Haemodialysis Centre at Sungai Tulai and proposed improvement and upgrading of Bintangor Recreation Park.
“The people of Meradong are waiting for these projects to be implemented as soon as possible and as their representative, I sincerely hope that all these projects can take off as soon as possible to ensure that we can see these projects completed during this current term,” he said.