Premier: Increasing population growth can provide opportunities for Sarawak, Singapore in food production

Abang Johari (front row, in red) and other dignitaries pose for a group photo during the dinner. Photo: Sarawak Information Department

By Yee Mei

KUCHING, July 12: With the United Nations’ (UN) estimation that the world population will reach eight billion by November, this is an opportunity to increase food production to meet the world’s needs, says Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“Another important information is the average age of the global population, which is 78.5 years, meaning an ageing population.

“If that’s the case, then a welfare strategy has to be formulated for them, and it has to include food,” he said.

He made these remarks during the Singapore Business Delegation Networking Dinner at Pullman Hotel here tonight.

“We have to prepare food for them, then the business of welfare will come. With that, you also have to have good nursing — nurses to look after these people, and that’s when the healthcare industry will come up,” he said.

He also added that this would provide opportunities where Sarawak and Singapore can complement each other.

The Premier also told those present that the Sarawak government has a policy to establish agro parks—which he described as being like industrial parks—focusing on agricultural production.

He said crops could be grown in Sarawak and then sent to Singapore to be distributed to other parts of the region.

“We can use technology to meet the quality (standards) of the food needed, and Singapore will be the distribution centre,” he said, adding that previously, pepper from Sarawak was exported through Singapore.

Abang Johari also shared that on his recent trip to Singapore, Sarawak signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore’s vertical farm founder, Sky Urban Solutions, and Alternative Selection Pte Ltd, the first wholesaler and retailer of alternative gourmet, organic, allergen and preservative-free speciality foods in Singapore.

Among those present at the dinner were Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Sarawak (Statos) chief executive officer (CEO) Chew Chang Guan; Sarawak Business Federation president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg and Singapore Business Federation Southeast Asia and Pacific director Tan Sock Joo. — DayakDaily