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KUCHING, July 18: Sarawak aims to become a net exporter of food products by 2030, revealed Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today.
Sarawak also aimed to increase its self-sufficiency level for rice, beef, mutton and dairy products.
“Currently, my ministry is in the process of preparing a master plan to address the above issues and also to position Sarawak to be the key food products exporter in Malaysia.
“In this connection, the state government will collaborate and work closely with the federal government to ensure that the desired goals will be achieved together,” Uggah said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) here today.
He reiterated that his ministry and the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry were currently working to formalise their collaborations through the formation of a joint committee on agriculture.
“The formation of this committee was mutually agreed during the visit of the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry to Sarawak recently. The main task of this committee is to address all matters related to agriculture development, including implementation issues,” he said.
Uggah, who is also deputy chief minister, pointed out that in line with Sarawak’s goal to become a net exporter of food products, his ministry was taking steps to accelerate and boost the production of pineapple, durian, coconut and banana.
“These fruit types have shown the greatest potential to be further developed and strengthened to fulfil the rapidly expanding market demands, both domestically and globally,” he stressed.
The growth and export earnings of the state’s agriculture sector have been highly dependent on commodity products, particularly oil palm.
Last year, oil palm products contributed 88 per cent to the Agriculture Gross Domestic Product and 85 per cent to total agriculture export earnings.
Meanwhile, Uggah revealed that RM1.54 billion had been allocated for the period 2015 to 2017 to implement 4,836 Rural Transformation Project (RTP) initiatives in the state.
As at last month, 3,929 projects or 81.2 per cent of the total number of projects had been completed. The remaining 907 projects are still at various stages of implementation. The breakdown for 2015 to 2017 is as follows:
For 2015, out of 1,853 approved projects, 1,812 projects or 97.8 per cent have been completed. For 2016, out of 1,346 approved projects, 1,236 projects or 91.8 per cent have been completed. Last year, out of 1,637 approved projects, 881 projects or 53.8 per cent have been completed. — DayakDaily