KUCHING: The Sarawak government will give continuous focus on agro-food sector by improving productivity and ensuring national food security while driving economic growth for the wellbeing of the people.
Ministry for Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said there was a need to cultivate an environment for the farming industry where farmers see themselves as businessman.
“My ministry’s role is to facilitate the process and invest in capacity building in order to grow the agriculture industry to become a key contributor to the nation’s economy wealth.”
He added that the agro-food sector would gain additional momentum in generating higher income for the state.
“I also hope that the development of the state’s agriculture industry be predominantly led by the private sector and foreign expertise.
“Thus, it will transform subsistence farmers into agro-entrepreneurs and lift farming families out for poverty.”
He said this ahead of the 8th Livestock, Aquaculture, and Agriculture (LAA) Expo and Exhibition at Kuching South City Council (MBKS) community hall on Friday (Nov 25).
Meanwhile MBKS mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said the industry should produce more food at a much lower carbon footprint, improve food nutrition and quality and reduce food waste.
“We have many large agri-food companies based here which are promoting sustainable and innovative farming practices and helping to improve the lot of smallholder farmers.
“We also have a vibrant agri and food tech eco system in Sarawak that continues to make new breakthroughs in tacking the food challenge.”
Wee also added that there is potential for them to do the same for food in Sarawak, to bring their farmers, stakeholders and food producers together, grow and increase productivity significantly and leverage on new technologies.
“By expanding this, we not only enhance our food security, but we also develop a new growth industry that can create jobs for Sarawakians.”