RM87 mln for agricultural development programmes

(From left) Betong Agriculture officer Petrus Kang, Uggah, Chuat and Low examining a feed mill corn cob.

SPAOH: The Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development (Manred) has recently been allocated RM87 million from the state government to allow it to continue with existing or carry out new agricultural development programmes.

Manred Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the allocated amount included RM50 million for its Agriculture Facilitation Fund.

“The new allocation will allow us to develop more fruit and vegetable fertigation, breeding, inland fishery, and other programmes and activities for the people,” he said when officiating at a community policing course for 55 longhouse chiefs here today.

“It is the government’s objective for the rural people to be quality and quantity food producers in the important sector to allow them to generate stable income.

“This is in line with the state agenda to be a net food and food products exporter by the year 2030.

“More supporting programmes like the setting up of food terminals, collecting, processing and collecting centres and other facilities are in the pipeline.

“In addition, the Area Farmer’s Organisation will continue to buy any surplus products from farmers.

“The Agriculture Department will continue to guide farmers in using modern technologies as well,” he said.

Later, Uggah also visited a seed farm enterprise, the Green World Genetics (GWG) Debak Station at Simpang Debak.

Low (left, front row) showing Uggah a paddy variety.

Its project manager Low Kok Leong was on hand to show him and Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat around.

The GWG is a research and development company based in Kuala Lumpur that specialises in the breeding, production and marketing of high quality non-genetically modified organisms tropical hybrid seeds.

It engages with foreign breeders from the United States of America, China, Thailand, India and Mexico in seed research and development.

It currently exports its seeds to the Asia Pacific Region, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America countries.

According to Uggah, among others, the branch is now doing research and development on 102 different varieties of paddy planted on a 1.5 hectares plot there.

“We will introduce and promote to our local farmers those varieties that are most promising.

“We will increase the seed production to reach our main average production which is between one to two tons per season.

“The company has varieties that are able to produce eight tons per season but these are planted under controlled environment,” he said.

Uggah said the company is also doing similar research and development on papaya and maize at the 27-hectare site.

(From left, front row) Betong Agriculture officer Petrus Kang, Low, Chuat and
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