Modern agriculture vital for rural growth but participation needed

Dennis (seated centre, clad in white) pose with the participants, while giving their thumb's up to the programme.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Aug 23: Modern agriculture will play a vital role in rural development but strong public participation is needed to ensure economic success.

Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said the state government has identified several agriculture products to support economic growth in the rural areas known for its fertile soil.

“To be effective, modern farming activities can be enhanced through direct participation of rural folks in all agriculture-related (including downstream) activities,” he said when closing the one-day durian trees rehabilitation programme at Long Lama, near here, yesterday.

Dennis said the state, through its Modernisation of Agriculture Ministry, is focus on taking advantage of the big demand for durian fruits and products.

Dennis (3rd right) with participants.

“The ministry has come up with training to rehabilitate durian trees through its Fruit Trees Rehabilitation Programme. We are fortunate that Telang Usan is one of the areas given attention in this undertaking,” he continued.

He added that the Agriculture Department saw great potential in this industry and is taking advantage of the huge number of durian fruit trees within the Telang Usan constituency.

“The ministry is focusing on technology and innovation to ensure durian fruit trees will bear more fruits and that is why the department brought in experts to give us the knowledge.”

Dennis said the building of a collection, processing and packaging centre (CPPC) at Long Lama Rural Growth Centre, to purchase and process durian fruits and other agriculture products, will provide a massive boost to the local economy.

He reminded rural farmers that the state government will continue to roll out new economic models especially in digital economy, and that the people should focus on gaining skills and knowledge to participate and achieve economic success.

“Many of us are aware, various agriculture scheme or assistance has been rolled out by the federal and state government starting and records have shown how many participants emerged successful, although there were those who did not fare well.

“One of the known reason contributing to the failure is lack of commitment or focus by the scheme participants. We must learn from that and change for the better,” he advised.

He said the rural community must adopt progressive thinking, where survival goes beyond the daily job and income to ensure financial security. The people must adopt with changes and trend of the modern society.

The younger generations must be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to compete with their urban counterpart in the global market, he added.

More than 150 participants from Long Kesseh, Nahah A, Long Batan, Long Nush, Long Puah, Long Bedian and Long Lama took part in the programme. — DayakDaily