Abdul Latiff Ahmad (right) with Abdul Rahman (second left) and State Assemblyman for Demak Laut Dr. Hazland Abang Hipni (second right) being briefed about the products produced at Lenispice Sdn. Bhd. by its owner Khairah Morshidi (left) and her mother Leni Len (centre) during the ministers visit at Lenispice factory in Bako. Photo: Ramidi Subari

BUMIPUTERA ENTREPRENEURS

BY CLEMENT ERIK WONG AND ALVERDTEKOSTER ANYAP

KUCHING: The federal ministry of rural development (KPLB), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture Native Land and Regional Development, will improve the businesses of local bumiputera entrepreneurs in the state.

Rural Development Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said his ministry was focusing on marketing platforms, namely digital marketing and digital online sales, for local products.

He said such platforms would help to expand businesses and increase product sales in addition to putting the products on the global market.

“Good products without proper advertising through sales platforms will only be left sitting on the shelves. Other than that, some businesses are also facing troubles with their packaging. We can help them,” he said.

Abdul Latiff was speaking at a press conference after visiting Sophia Taha Holdings Sdn Bhd and Leni Spice Sdn Bhd processing plant here, today.

He said there was vast networking between the state and federal governments as well as various platforms under KPLB, including Desamall@KPLB which was developed in collaboration with Lazada and Shopee.

“Food products, cosmetics, and traditional medicines such as Sarawak gambier could be included on Desamall.

“Once a product enters the digital platform, its market is global. In terms of logistics, how do we transport the items from Sarawak to the buyers?” he asked.

He added that KPLB also provided a platform to assist in product designs.

“Design is usually very costly, but through the use of the KPLB’s platforms through Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), we have a marketing strategy that will help to reduce marketing costs.

“Advertising costs are very expensive and the small companies cannot afford them. But we have ways to assist them. These include labelling, which serves as an identity for each product,” he added

“This is what we want to teach local entrepreneurs so that they can enhance their products and markets not only in Malaysia but also globally,” he added.

Abdul Latiff pointed out that some of the products could be sold at Petronas Mesra outlets nationwide.

“KPLB had already inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Petronas Dagangan Berhad (PDB) to allow eligible rural entrepreneurs to market their products at over 750 Petronas outlets.

“These are products that are unable to enter the supermarkets for a number of reasons such as listing fees. With this, the listing fees are excluded,” said Abdul Latiff.

Additionally, he said the ministry was also looking to provide assistance in terms of equipment for Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

“The technology and engineering in the food industry tend to evolve quickly. Many of the machines are outdated 

“We are looking to see how to assist them in obtaining modern equipment suitable for current times. This can give an added value to their products,” he added.