Lubok Punggor’s Biris Rice debuts in KL, S’wak govt to build Swinburne satellite campus in Gedong

Abang Johari delivering his speech in Gedong today (July 16, 2022). Screenshot taken from Ukas livestream.

By Ling Hui and Chris Bishop

KUCHING, July 16: Following the debut of ‘Kenyalang Biris Rice’ in Kuala Lumpur last week, the Sarawak government is planning to build a mini satellite campus in Gedong to conduct more paddy cultivation research.

Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the campus will be for the researchers from Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus to study new agricultural technology.

For areas from Samarahan to Sebuyau, he said another similar campus will be established for scientists from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

“Few days ago, I’ve instructed the pro-chancellor of Swinburne to build a lab in Gedong, a mini satellite campus for Swinburne University in Gedong.

“And from Samarahan until Sebuyau, we will have another satellite campus for Unimas for their research works.

“(Altogether) two campuses, and the Sarawak government will bear the construction costs of the buildings,” he said.

With these facilities, Abang Johari said, the experts can do their research and at the same time educate local farmers modern agriculture methods.

He said “the new way of agriculture” must be adopted in order for Sarawak to be a net exporter of food produce and products by 2030 while reducing the State’s dependency on importing food.

In terms of production, he said Sarawak should shift its focus to downstream products.

“We keep on planting pineapples and rambutans, who wants to buy so many fruits? So we can focus on the downstream industry.

“Make rambutan jam, pineapple jam or whatever. There are so many things we can do,” he said when officiating the National Anti-Drugs Day (HADK) and 2022 Sarawak State Malaysian Family Direct-From-Farm Sales Program (JTDL KM) in Gedong today.

Abang Johari, who is also Gedong assemblyman, thus noted the importance of basic road infrastructure such as the newly proposed dual-carriageway to connect Serian with Gedong, Samarahan, Asajaya and Sebuyau. — DayakDaily