Uggah: Kapit has huge potential to become state’s ‘fruit basket’

Uggah hitting the ‘gong’ to launch the AgriCOP programme at Rh Manok Manchal in Kapit

KAPIT, Oct 26: The dabai, durian and isau (mata kuching) have been identified as potential farmland produce that can help boost Kapit’s status as Sarawak’s prospective “fruit basket”.

Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Kapit produces high-quality dabai (Canarium odontophyllu or local olive) and other fruits that can ideally help the people to develop commercial orchards.

“Kapit is also suitable for the development of livestock industries as it has plenty of land,” he said today during the launching of the department’s Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) at a longhouse in Rh Manok Manchal here.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said a site has been identified for the centre to be built in the near future.

In the meantime, he said a temporary collection centre would be set up to help farmers sell their surplus harvested fruits of dabai, durian and isau.

“We will provide the necessary machines. Kapit’s high-quality dabai is always much sought after.

“When the fruit is vacuum packed, its shelf life can last forthree years,” he said.

On the request for a large scale economic project in Sungai Yong, Uggah said his ministry hopes to do soil and potential crop survey first before implementing the project.

He gathered that the farmers in Kapit were already experienced vegetable planters and land is a non-issue.

“Meanwhile, I am getting the department to promote modern agriculture systems like fertigation and hydroponic cultivation among the people.

“These systems do not need much labour or land but are very productive when properly managed.

“In livestock, we hope to introduce artificial insemination as a way to produce more animals,” he added.

At the event, Uggah also announced a new grant of RM1 million to carry out various new agriculture programmes in the Bukit Goram constituency in addition to the RM1.7 million which was distributed earlier.

He said a budget of RM700 million had been allocated to the Agriculture Department this year to organise income generating modern farming and livestock breeding programmes and activities.

Uggah who is Second Finance Minister also announced grants of RM20,000 to the longhouse and village security and development committee (JKKK) and RM10,000 to the Women’s Bureau of the Bukit Goram constituency. —DayakDaily