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KOTA SAMARAHAN, April 12: Once completed in June this year, the Institute for Rural Advancement (INFRA) Sarawak Campus here would be able to train people from the rural areas, particularly members of the security and development committees (JKKKs) as well as youngsters.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during the soft opening this morning said in view of the state’s initiative to develop its industries based on natural resources particularly agriculture and biodiversity, this would create many downstream activities.
These in turn would require trained manpower to be able to operate, and thus it was timely for the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development to set up the Kota Samarahan branch, the second one in the country after Bangi, Selangor.
Abang Johari said the campus would provide various skills training courses not only to grassroot leaders but also to aspiring young adults and youngsters from rural areas to better their involvement in the development of industries based on natural resources.
“This in turn would not only bring education to the rural areas but also would be able to provide economic opportunities for them, and eventually improve their income.
“This effort is one to close the gap between the rural and the urban (areas), in order for the state to achieve a developed state (status) by the year 2030,” he told reporters.
Abang Johari revealed that among the efforts by the state government to create downstream activities would be the setting up of a bio industrial park in Kota Samarahan near agricultural collection centres, as well as collaborating with overseas corporations and organisations in terms of research on Sarawak’s biodiversity.
“We have received several proposals from overseas corporations interested to work with Sarawak Biodiversity Centre in researching natural resources here. The proposed bio industrial park, which I had approved recently, would be able to accommodate that,” he revealed.
Construction on the INFRA Campus Sarawak branch began in 2015 at a cost of RM55.6 million under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
It is expected to be completed in June and to start operation in July. It would provide accredited skills training courses and even diploma courses while collaborating with public and private higher learning institutions, to target groups consisting of the grassroots or community leaders, the youth and even the women from rural areas.
The campus also acts as an operation and administration centre for the INFRA Sarawak branch and the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.
It would be able to house some 250 trainees in its hostels at once. — DayakDaily