Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan has urged farmers to use modern technology to improve the productivity of their crops.

He also suggested farmers use fertigation along with other modern technology.  

“I was told in Peninsular Malaysia, there is a durian farm that uses technology to produce fruits all year round.

“Similarly, we used to have only one type of pineapple. Now, there are various types of pineapples. Some are suitable to be canned, some can last a long time while some have a sweet taste,” he said when officiating at the Community Extension Outreach Programme held at Dewan Kampung Bangkatan, Merapok, Lawas on Tuesday.

Awang Tengah added that the state government was looking to upgrade existing agricultural stations for research and development purposes to further improve the quality of crops for a wider market.

“A few years ago, when I was in Japan, a watermelon cost RM300. Here, we have a car boot full of watermelons. People want quality. They don’t care about the price. Like bananas … they must be of the same size,” he said.

Awang Tengah, who is Bukit Sari assemblyman, urged farmers in the constituency to take advantage of the facilities provided by the government to increase their incomes and improve their socio-economic status.

“The Department of Agriculture and the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM) also provide facilities for us to process fishery products, such as tahai processing centres,” he said.

The deputy chief minister pointed out that the Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) also had funds for such purposes.

He added that more Anjung Usahawan (entrepreneur centres) would be built in the state.

“I have already instructed the NRDA and the Land and Survey Department to plan developments in this area to improve the economy,” he said.