Agency prioritises income-generating activities, including rice production in Tg Sebekut

Uggah (seated left) in a discussion with Betong Land And Survey Department chief Moris Nayup with Dr Richard and Jason Ng of Betong Public Works Department looking on.

KUCHING, Jan 24: Large scale, high-yield rice production in Tanjung Sebekut, Spaoh has been identified as one of the key income-generating initiatives for Betong Division Development Agency (BDDA) this year.

Deputy Premier and BDDA chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that various sub-committees have been formed to explore untapped potential in tourism, economic activities and modern agriculture within Betong Division.

“I have directed these committees to devise their respective plans and proposals. We will study and decide on the best with a view to develop and strategise in our efforts to generate income for the people in aligning with the Post-Covid Development Strategy (PCDS) for Sarawak to become a developed region by 2030,” he said in a statement today.

He highlighted this after officiating at the agency’s fifth workshop to finalise its second phase projects for the year, which will be presented to the State Economic Planning Unit for funding decision.

Noting Betong’s success in palm oil and pepper production, Uggah said that there are still many sectors with big potential awaiting development.

“Our next venture is into large-scale rice production, with Tanjung Sebekut in Spaoh earmarked as a potential new rice production area in Sarawak. Our target is to implement a rice variety that allows for two harvests each year,” he elaborated.

Uggah also outlined plans to promote precision farming, such as fertigation and hydroponics, citing an entrepreneur’s successful venture in golden rock melon production using hydroponics at Simpang Layar.

Layar assemblyman Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu pledged support for expanding these initiatives.

“In essence, we are embracing modern technologies as the way forward including in food and pepper production. Additionally, a cattle farming programme is underway in Spaoh by SALCRA (Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority) aand we will closely monitor its progress,” he said.

Highlighting the tourism sector’s vast potential, Uggah emphasised Betong’s attractions, including its flora and fauna, pristine countryside, traditional longhouses, and rich cultural heritage.

He noted that the Sarawak government has allocated RM16 million to develop a replica of the legendary hero Rentap’s old fortress at Bukit Sadok.

Despite the challenges anticipated in project implementation, Uggah encouraged participants not to be disheartened, urging them to remain resolute in finding solutions and contributing to nation-building.

Also present at the workshop were elected assemblymen Datuk Mohd Razi Sitam (Saribas), Mohamad Duri (Kalaka), Friday Belik (Krian), Razaili Gapor (Beting Maro), Mohamad Chee Kadir (Kabong), and Dayang Norazah Awang Sohor (Lingga); Members of Parliament (MPs) Dr Richard Rapu (Betong) and Mohamad Shafizan (Batang Lupar); political secretary to the Sarawak Premier Roseline Mapong; Betong Resident Richard Micheal Abunawas; and BDDA special administrative officer Abang Mohamed Abang Turkey. — DayakDaily