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By Jacob Achoi
KUCHING, Sept 5: Efforts to turn Mambong into a coffee belt is gaining momentum with a series of seminars held since August this year.
Today, the eighth such series organised by the Department of Agriculture, under the Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCop) and Persatuan Bisitang, was held at Kpg Sitang Community Hall.
The seminar today was attended by about 100 participants from 12 villages under Persatuan Bisitang, and officiated at by Assistant Minister of Transport Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.
Dr Jerip said local residents should take the initiative to plant the crop, which he said has high commercial value and is in great demand.
“It is my hope that the people in the area (Mambong) will think seriously about getting involved in the planting of coffee which has high commercial value to increase their socio-economic wellbeing.
“Equally important is that the plenty of idle land be used for commercial agricultural activities,” Dr Jerip, who is the Mambong assemblyman, pointed out.
According to him, the state imports about 140,000 tonnes of coffee a month from other countries.
Dr Jerip also pointed out that coffee species like Arabica, Liberica and Robusta are suitable to be planted in Mambong.
He was glad to note that a few coffee industry related private companies like Reka Jaya Plantation, Hing Loong Coffee, Earthling Coffee and Ngu Brothers Coffee are already operating here.
“This will greatly boost our efforts to turn Mambong into the biggest coffee production area in the state,” Dr Jerip asserted.
At the function, Dr Jerip also presented Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants to 17 organisations, totalling RM339, 000.
Present were Sarawak Administrative Officer (SAO) from the Padawan sub-district office Rangen Jamang, Kuching division agriculture officer Chong Mui Sia, Penghulu for Sitang area John Jentor and Persatuan Bisitang president Odrick Kuik, amongst others. — DayakDaily