Agriculture Dept will buy jungle produce of farmers in red zone

Jungle produce (file pic)

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Feb 15: The State Agriculture Department will procure the jungle produce of farmers in districts classified as red zones of Covid-19 in Sarawak.

The move was part of the measures to prevent the farmers in red zones from travelling out to the nearest town to sell their produce.

Modernisation Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that farmers in red zones of Covid-19 need not worry as their produce will have buyers.

“The first step that we take is to decide the agricultural produce can be sold.

“Therefore, we have instructed the State Agriculture Department to collaborate with the farmers to buy their produce.

“Farmers (in the red zone) who experience problems to market their produce can contact the Agriculture Department Office in their respective division or district.

“That is to ensure whatever produce provided by them will be bought and the farmers will find out how to sell it.

“We try to avoid them to go to town because that will put them into a risk (of contacting Covid-19),” he told reporters during a press conference on the latest situation of Covid-19 in Sarawak today.

Meanwhile, the National Security Council (MKN) in an updated standard operating procedures for the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from Feb 15 to March 1 released last Saturday pointed out that farmers’ market and the “pasar tamu” in red zones are prohibited to operate.

Uggah who is also Deputy Chief Minister said the local authorities in the respective districts will assess the Covid-19 situation and determine the opening and closing of the farmers’ market.

“We leave them to the local council to decide and to make the decision to solve the problem.

“To minimise the problem, we try to put a solution and that’s what we have been doing since the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“The Agriculture Department and the Fisheries Development Authority Malaysia (LKIM) also bought the produce of fishermen and farmers which could not be sold because they were not allowed to travel out to town,” he added. —DayakDaily