Adopt IoT and big data to boost food exports, urges Uggah

Uggah trying his skill in casting a net to catch prawns at one of Seahorse's ponds.

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LUNDU, March 21: Sarawak food producers and exporters are urged to adopt Internet of Things (IoT), big data or automation to increase productivity and exports.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this is in line with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s vision for Sarawak to be a leading food and food product exporter in the region by 2030.

Citing Seahorse Corporation (Seahorse), one of Sarawak’s biggest prawn and seafood producers and exporters as an example, he said the corporation’s implementation of modern technology has returned handsome profits.

“I hope more corporate players will come forward and adopt the same strategy. On the part of the state government, we will try our best to provide back up in terms of infrastructure, land and others,” he said after a meeting with Seahorse here today.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development (Manred), said Seahorse is using automation to feed prawns and operate water paddles.

Not only has this innovation maximised prawn growth, he said these methods have helped to avoid waste, reduce workload and even reduce pollution and diseases.

Uggah (right) and others looking at one of the automated feeding controls at a pond.

With a cost of about RM1.2 million to develop the system, he noted, the corporation managed to increase their exports from RM58 million in 2018 to RM77 million last year, for prawn products only.

“Combined with jellyfish and other seafood products, they had increased the amount to RM145 million.

“They currently have 178 ponds and are planning for more. They told us that if they had continued to rely on the old ways of doing things, like through human judgement and experience, they would not have been so efficient and productive,” said Uggah.

Adding on, he said Seahorse’s exported products have reached Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, the Middle East and the European Union countries.

Among those present were Manred permanent secretary Edwin Abit, Agriculture Department director Dr Alvin Chai, Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datuk Patinggi Jamilah Anu and Seahorse senior manager Sim Ing Jye. — DayakDaily