Rural folk urged to plant cash crops

Sikie delivers his opening remarks at the programme.

BINTULU: Rural folk are urged to adopt new methods of cultivating crops in order to sustain their household incomes.

In particular, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Native Laws and Customs) Datuk John Sikie Tayai encouraged them to plant cash crops to boost their overall production and make more money.

He spoke at an agriculture community outreach programme organised by the Agriculture Department Selangau District on Wednesday at Rumah Dicka, Sungai Anak in Selangau.

“To increase productivity, farmers must adopt better crop management practices to improve their economic status,” added Sikie who is also Kakus assemblyman.

“That is why via the Agriculture Department, we are educating rural farmers to switch from the traditional method of cultivation to cash crops to improve their purchasing power and boost the rural economy,” he explained.

Citing an example of the sago planting at Sungai Anak, Sikie said the area had a huge potential for crop planting.

“Sago is a versatile crop and has potential for commercialisation to markets abroad and for the record, last year, the value of the sago exports was worth RM89 million,” he said.

“Even the palm weevil or sago larvae (sago worms) can fetch up to RM60/kg in the market and were in high demand due to their nutritional value,” he pointed out.

At the event, Sikie also presented a cheque worth RM214,000 to 11 Village Security and Development Committees (JKKKs) in Kakus Constituency.