Sarawak Farmers’ Association
BY NATASHA JEE & SARAH HAFIZAH CHANDRA
KUCHING: At last, the Sarawak Farmers’ Association will have its own building.
The Sarawak government has approved an allocation of RM20 million for the construction of the association’s new office building at Lot 12537, Block 59, Muara Tuang Land District, Jalan Muttaqin in Kota Samarahan.
The building, to be equipped with modern facilities, is scheduled to be completed by 2022. It is adjacent to the Kota Samarahan Bus Terminal and will be built on a 5-acre piece of land.
Among the facilities are an administration office, a function hall, a gallery, a multipurpose area, an agro bazaar, an outdoor exhibition space and a seedling courtyard.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg also explained why Kota Samarahan was chosen as the location for the construction of the building.
According to him, Samarahan was developed because of the Integrated Agriculture Development Project (IADP).
“Majority of our people depend on agriculture. That is why we want to upgrade existing infrastructure for agriculture activities.
“So we construct the office so that it will connect the food basket areas from Samarahan here to Sebuyau,” he said at the earth-breaking ceremony of the new Sarawak Farmers’ Association building today.
Abang Johari added the areas from the Batang Samarahan Bridge to where the road was widened up to Batang Lupar Bridge, Batang Saribas Bridge and Batang Krian Bridge right up to Mukah had been classified as the food basket areas.
“These are all the areas where food is produced, and from there, it can be exported locally and overseas,” he said.
The chief minister also revealed that initially, three acres of land were approved for the construction of the new Farmers’ Association building.
Later, he agreed to approve another two acres for the building.
“Three acres of land are not enough to house all the machines to be used for modern farming. Therefore, two more acres will be given so that the machines can be displayed here and the farmers can learn on how to use modern technology and Internet of Thing (IoT) for modern farming,” he said.
Later at a press conference, Abang Johari said the completion of the Short Take-Off and Landing Airport (STOLport) by 2024 and the Bukit Mabong airport in Kapit by 2025 would further benefit the farmers.
“The agriculture products can be exported.
“We are now exporting our durians to China. Semenanjung is already buying our silver ‘patin’ fish and Singaporeans are buying our tilapia and now they want our ‘terung asam’.
“So, when all the bridges, roads and airport are completed between 2025 and 2030, the future of our agriculture sector will be bright and our farmers will have lucrative incomes,” said Abang Johari.
Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Agriculture, Native Land Development and Regional Development Assistant Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang, Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang, and Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail.