BAU: The RM500,000 ‘Pisang Kepok’ plantation on 90 hectares of land at Singai here will start producing next year.
“This will make Tasik Biru the main producer of ‘Pisang Kepok’,” said Tasik Biru assemblyman, Datuk Henry Harry Jinep.
He revealed that the project would only involve villages with land documentation.
Henry said there was a market for ‘Pisang Kepok’ (a type of plantain) because of the high demand from Peninsular Malaysia and because the border at Tebedu was temporarily closed.
“According to the owner of a ‘Pisang Kepok’ factory in Asajaya, he requested for 50 tonnes of ‘Pisang Kepok’ but was only sent 20-30 tonnes due to low supplies,” the assemblyman told reporters after the launch of the Jagoi Farmers’ Stalls at Kampung Sri-ieng, Bau on Sunday (Sept 6).
Henry revealed that 51 people from three villages in Tasik Biru, namely Kampung Daun, Kampung Senibong and Kampung Tanjong would be involved in the ‘Pisang Kepok’ plantation.
“They will start their training in banana plantation technology on September 11.
“The first production of ‘Pisang Kepok’ will be expected after 10 months. The bananas will be planted in October this year and be harvested in August next year,” he said.
Asked if there were plans to expand the ‘Pisang Kepok’ plantation project, Henry pointed out that in Singai alone, only 90 hectares were approved even though 1,000 hectares were offered.
“Hopefully, if the request for an additional allocation is approved by the state government, we can proceed with another 800 hectares.
“Our target now is to make Tasik Biru the main producer of ‘Pisang Kepok’ as Serembu is the main producer of pineapples.
“We want to take up the challenge from our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg that Bau can be a producer of ‘Pisang Kepok’,” he said.
Henry urged land owners who had not registered for land documentation to do so immediately so that they could be involved in the ‘Pisang Kepok’ business.
“These villagers need markets to generate incomes. Therefore, we have discussed the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the buyers,” he added.
On the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex, Henry pointed out that the upgrading of the post would not affect the border market along the way.
The complex, he said, would be the main gateway for the state’s imports and exports.
“Besides the renovation of the post, there will also be a new connecting road and a bridge that will cut through the road without disturbing our border market,” he revealed.