By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Nov 30: The Department of Agriculture (DOA) has been urged to build and collect more accurate data that will help to better plan and manage the agriculture produce and food crops by local farmers especially at the collection, processing and packaging centre.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas pointed out that without accurate data and right information, there will be problems with making informed and good decisions to efficiently coordinate, manage, support and grow the agriculture sector.
“For example, the data of the number of durian trees does not tally with what is on the ground. It is recorded that there were 900,000 durian trees but in reality, we do not have that number. If we did, then we can produce 5,000 tonnes of durian paste.
“With data, we can use it in handling the agriculture produce, streamline tasks, identify problems, study mistakes and make improvements,” he addressed the closing ceremony of DOA Team Building Programme 2019 at a hotel here, today.
Uggah, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Rural Development (MANRED), reiterated the state government’s commitment in becoming a net exporter of food and food products through the agriculture sector by year 2030.
“We have little time but the people have high hope because they can see the potential in agriculture especially now with precision and smart farming approach. It will benefit those with lands and interests,” he said.
With high expectation on DOA, he thus urged the department to adopt an ‘outcome-based management’ approach to ensure the state government’s aim can be materialised.
“Each division in DOA can plan out a food crop production system and together with the Ministry, we can make sure the objectives are achieved.
“We must identify the crops to be developed and produced and help our farmers to be successful,” he added.
Assistant Minister of Agriculture Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Deputy State Secretary (Rural Transformation) Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, MANRED acting permanent secretary Awang Johari Awang Mustapha and acting director of agriculture Dr Alvin Chai Lian Kuet were present.— DayakDaily