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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Oct 17: The government will set up new clusters of fertigation system for modern farming in Lundu, Betong and Sri Aman.
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the fertigation system will also be expanded to other areas in Sarawak for instance in Lawas, Limbang as well as in Kapit.
He recalled that the state government had in 2017 provided 2,000 acres of land to the federal government for agricultural development in Sarawak.
Thus, Wan Junaidi said the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) through Cooperative Institute of Malaysia in Sarawak will be collaborating with Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries and Modern Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Ministry in Sarawak to develop the land into fertigation system for modern farming.
“As we have seen, the state government has created (the fertigation system) in Rampangi.
“The federal government will also create one similar cluster in Lundu.
“It will also be established in Betong and Sri Aman,” he told reporters during a press conference after officiating a programme organised by the Cooperative Institute of Malaysia at a hotel here today.
Wan Junaidi pointed out that the state government through the Modern Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development has a viable model to develop sustainable agriculture using Internet of Thing (IoT) technology.
Thus, he said Medac is looking to cultivate more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the cooperatives to be involved in modern agriculture and farming.
He asserted that about 89 per cent of the SMEs in Malaysia are in the services sector with just a small percentage involved in agriculture adding that agriculture development is critical to provide food security for the state and the country in the future.
He gathered that Malaysia at present imported a total of RM50 billion of food including livestock and agriculture produces from other countries.
With modern farming by the locals, he hoped that the country will be less reliant on food imports in the future and produce sufficient food for local consumption.
Wan Junaidi hoped that agropreneurs in Sarawak will be able to export some of the agricultural produce to Singapore and other overseas countries to create a more balance of trade.
As such, he commended the move by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to establish a Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) in Singpore to provide a market for Sarawak to export our agriculture produce and increase our exports.
Apart from that, Wan Junaidi encourages universities graduates and youth to venture into modern farming as an alternative career adding that they could contribute to the economic growth of the country as well as generating more income for their families.
Meanwhile, the programme, Bicara Ilmu “Niaga Tani Pintar, Jana Income Steady” organised by the Cooperative Institute of Malaysia is an initiative through Medac to provide exposure for entrepreneurs and cooperative members to generate income through modern agriculture with the use of Industry Revolution 4.0 technology.
Among those present at the programme include Cooperative Institute of Malaysia Sarawak zone director Siti Maimunah Jerni and more than 200 participants.—DayakDaily