Mawan (left) delivering his speech at the programme.

PAKAN: The rural folk now need to be more open to modern agriculture and livestock rearing, which would allow their produce to be marketed overseas.

Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said it could not be denied that agriculture has been a source of income for farmers from a long time ago.

However, he said now the demand for agricultural produce was in line with the changing times.

“We know that agriculture has been practised by our people since way before, in addition to providing income for us to buy basic daily necessities.

“However, the existing knowledge in agriculture is not sufficient and the way we develop it is still not achieving high production yields. This is because agriculture is moving towards modernisation through technology and smarter methods,” he said.

He said this when officiating at the Pakan Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) 2020 organised by Pakan District Agriculture Department and Julau/Pakan Region Farmers’ Organisation (PPK) at Rumah Jantan, Tebok at Wak here on Thursday.

Mawan said that now, the agricultural products in Sarawak had been marketed abroad such as in Singapore, which needs to fulfil the required criteria.

In that regard, he said longhouse residents or farmers involved need to be prepared in the transition to modern agriculture so that they were not left behind.

“We already have the capital, the land, and agricultural products that we want to develop — but are we ready and how can we compete with others in terms of our quality?

“This is because now the demand of the world market is not only quality produce but also suitable timing when the products are sent,” he emphasised.

Mawan said, therefore, it was hoped that the organisation of the courses in conjunction with AgriCOP would focus on specific aspects such as marketing chain of agricultural products.