Dr Rundi’s ministry is now known as Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development

Abang Johari speaking at COSAFS 2022. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) Facebook page

By Ling Hui and Karen Bong

KUCHING, Sept 21: Sarawak’s Ministry of Modernisation Agriculture and Regional Development has been renamed Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg announced this when officiating at the opening ceremony of the Congress on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security (COSAFS2022) at a hotel here today.

“Agriculture is too important to us. I have decided to change the name of this ministry under (Dato Sri Dr) Stephen Rundi, a hardworking minister with a certain vision, to the Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development,” he said.

Abang Johari emphasised that agriculture has to be redefined as sustainable agriculture where it has to embrace and adopt the latest technology across the whole chain of food production.

“And technology is the key along the processes. Agriculture cannot be seen as a poor man’s job with ‘cangkul’ or hoe, wearing a hat, and ‘susah punya muka’ (miserable face due to hard work). That is what farming is all about (traditionally) so we have to change this perception that agriculture is an industry by itself.

“By conventional standard, a farmer cultivates the land, places fertilisers and harvests the produce when the time comes. But nowadays, farmers can be in the office to monitor, manage and control the farms using technology,” he elaborated.

Abang Johari pointed out the agriculture processes in Sarawak need to be transformed by building the necessary infrastructure to enable Internet of Things (IoT) applications to be deployed.

He also reiterated that under Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, the agriculture sector has been identified as one of the engines of growth that will help propel Sarawak towards a developed and high-income State. — DayakDaily