By Emellia Tamoh
KUCHING, Aug 14: The state government will continue to support the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Carnival, which can bring a long-term impact to the economic development in Sarawak.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the carnival would provide exposure and opportunity to the rural communities to expose their markets, while selling NTFP directly to prospective buyers.
“I hope that the rural community can produce NTFP according to market demands, especially in terms of quality and quantity, since it can be the source of income for the rural people.
“Sarawak’s forest are rich in NTFP resource to make handicrafts, medicines, beauty products, food products and more,” he said at the NTFP Carnival opening ceremony here today.
His text-of-speech was read by Assistant Minister for Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh.
Abang Johari cited Ketiau Oil from the fruits of the nyatoh tree (Madhuca Motleyi) and engkabang butter or green butter, from the fruits of engkabang jatong tree (Shorea macrophyll) as examples of valuable NTFP.
“Ketiau oil price in the local market can reach up to RM500 for 650ml, while engkabang butter about RM350 per kg that can generate a high income to the communities who produced these products,” he continued.
These products have high market value due to the difficult processing methods, as well as the demands received from neighbouring countries like Brunei, Abang Johari said.
He emphasised that such products can be potentially developed and marketed in a bigger scale through extensive marketing networks.
The NTFP Carnival, themed “Enhancing Partnership for Sustainability”, coincided with the 100 years anniversary celebration of the state Forest Department from today till Aug 20 at the Kuching Waterfront.
The fourth edition of the carnival attracted local and foreign participants including Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos, showcasing their respective NTFP
The carnival, part of Sarawak Forestry community development programme, aimed to promote, market and expand business networks for NTFP generated by the rural community. — DayakDaily