Sarawak seeking more private sector investments to propel its agriculture sector

Uggah (sixth left) flanked by Roland and Dr Abdul Rahman (right) in a group photo with representatives from the three companies.

KUCHING, Oct 5: Sarawak will strive to woo more established companies to invest in the state’s agriculture sector in order to create more jobs and other economic multiplier effects.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas reiterated that this was in line with the goal of becoming a net exporter of food by 2030.

“One of the initiatives toward this end is through more close collaborations with the private sector that has the technology, management expertise, capital and ready access markets at both domestic and global arenas,” he said at the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between three food companies and the state government at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

The three companies are Banana Tree Sdn Bhd (for the development of the banana industry), Saramanis Sdn Bhd (for pineapple) and Sea Horse Corporation (for shrimp).

Agriculture Department director Dr Alvin Chai Lian Kuet and his deputy Ngap Dollah Salam signed for the state government, while Banana Tree was represented by its chief executive officer Tho Tze Bing and its general manager Thomas Lato, Saramanis by its chairman Datu Robert Lian and executive director Jason Jong Tze Yun, while executive directors Lee Choon Kheng and Sim Jin Tong inked for Sea Horse.

Uggah told those present that the state needed active private sector involvement as it wanted to transform its agriculture sector into a modern and commercial one along the whole supply and value chain. This would be done by adopting new business models and by using the latest production technologies and leveraging on digital technologies.

He expressed confidence that the state could achieve what it had set out to do as it had plenty of land, its people are hardworking, and there existed many local entrepreneurs who were ready to take up the challenges and opportunities.

“Logistically, we have improved much through sea, air and land transports,” he said.

Also present at the signing ceremony were Assistant Minister for Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Assistant Minister for Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datu Ik Pahon Joyik. — DayakDaily