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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, March 30: Due to the current Movement Control Order (MCO) which has been extended till April 14, there has been increasing incidences of lack of food in rural areas.
In this regard, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has some words of wisdom for the natives who have plenty of land.
His advice is simple: the people especially the natives must utilise their land so that they can be self-sufficient and in case of hard times when food is scarce; especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic, they would have enough food for their family.
“I spend more time at my farm during MCO, apart from attending meetings in Kuching to formulate ways and means to reduce the impact of Covid-19.
“During this time, I find that farmers can be quite self-sufficient if they diligently utilise their land for their needs. As I’m during this time.
“All I need to do is to reduce my cravings for my urban needs. Therefore, Agriculture Department plays a very important role to keep us alive in a time of crisis like this by teaching our farmers in rural areas the new techniques of farming,” Masing opined in a statement today.
Masing, who has been tasked to chair the committee on border security besides looking after the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development, also opined that the government has to continue to allocate a substantial amount in the budget every year for the agriculture sector including for local farmers.
“They are fairly self-sufficient as I’m now at my farm, in the last few days of MCO. I’m very pleased to notice that our government allocates a substantial amount to farming activities. To the native communities, blessed with abundant land, please utilise your land properly so that you will not go hungry,” he added.
Masing disclosed that besides planting padi, he also rears livestock such as deer, goats, ducks, geese and fish, and grows vegetables on his farm located along the Kuching-Serian Road.
He has been self-sufficient in terms of rice as he has been planting padi since 1990 when he was still in the opposition. — DayakDaily