By Jacob Achoi
KUCHING, Nov 6: Efforts to turn Mambong into part of the State’s coffee belt was intensified with another 200 participants from villages in upper Padawan receiving coffee seedlings and other tools to help with their farming of the plant.
Assistant Minister of Transport Datuk Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, who handed over the agricultural input to the participants at Kampung Asum today said each participant will receive 638 coffee seedlings, knapsack sprayers, fertiliser and bushcutters worth about RM5,000.
According to him, the agricultural input is part of the Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF) by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to help rural farmers to increase their income.
He said the assistance was given through Persatuan Bibiya and hoped that more farmers through the association will participate in coffee planting.
“Today, we are giving a one-off payment, but we will not stop here because we will continue to give assistance upon request.
“Similarly, we will also entertain more participants if there are requests from the farmers planting coffee,” Dr Jerip pointed out.
He said RM1 million has been located by the State government specifically for the farmers from Persatuan Bibiya, which consists of 11 villages.
Dr Jerip added that coffee planting has also begun in Kampung Emperoh Git, adding that similar efforts will also be extended to Persatuan Bra’ang.
He also said that the Coffee Packaging and Collection Centre (CPCC) at Padawan Growth Centre in Bayur along Jalan Borneo Heights has been approved to complement the development of coffee planting in Mambong area.
“The CPCC will be run by a private sector for packaging and to buy coffee beans to help the local farmers,” Dr Jerip said.
Present at the event were Sarawak Administrative Officer (SAO) from Padawan sub-district office Julius Scott Sapong and Kuching DOA senior officer Catherine Chong. — DayakDaily