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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 30: Sarawak is exporting RM400 million worth of shrimp currently, and currently targeting to reach RM1 billion by 2030.
Minister of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said the development of the fisheries sector in Sarawak is further enhanced with the involvement of Sarawak State Farmers Association (PPNS).
“PPNS has recently formed a joint venture company with a local private company to develop 268 hectares of land in Rambungan AIZ for commercial shrimp farming.
“The Sarawak government has also approved a sum of RM52 million to LCDA Agribusiness Sdn Bhd for the development and upgrading of infrastructure and facilities at Loba Stoh Aquaculture Park, Rambungan in Kuching Division to boost the production of fisheries.
“The works are expected to commence in 2023 and once completed, it is expected to attract more investors to venture into high-value shrimp farming,” he told the august House when delivering his winding-up speech today.
To boost the development of the fisheries industry, Dr Rundi pointed out that his Ministry is in the process of identifying other suitable areas to harness the vast land resource along Sarawak coastline, in which approximately 7,000 hectares of land is required to achieve this target.
This initiative, he continued, is aimed at increasing the export volume of aquaculture produced through mass production of popular aquaculture commodities such as shrimp, tilapia, and seabass.
On the production of tilapia, he said in 2021 and 2022, the Aquaculture Industrial Zone (AIZ) developed by Department of Agriculture (DOA) Sarawak at Batang Ai produced 1,081 metric tonnes worth RM14.9 million while Sundar Awat-Awat produced 62.3 metric tonnes valued at RM1.5 million.
Dr Rundi emphasised that aquaculture and fisheries industry is one of export earner sectors which the Ministry will put focus on apart from food crops industry.
In 2021, he informed that Sarawak produced 155,600 metric tonnes worth RM1.08 billion of fisheries produced from capture fisheries and aquaculture industry which represents an increase of 11 per cent or RM120 million from 2020.
“The overall fisheries production is predominantly contributed by sea capture fisheries with 138,900 metric tonnes and valued at RM807.64 million. The aquaculture industry contributed only about 16,100 metric tonnes valued at RM250.63 million while inland capture fisheries contributed 667 metric tonnes valued at RM22 million,” he said.
Under the 12MP, Dr Rundi said DOA Sarawak has been allocated a sum of RM4.0 million for the development of aquaculture projects involving smallholders and semi-commercial aquaculture industry players development.
“In 2023, a sum of RM1.2 million has been allocated to implement various aquaculture and inland fisheries projects in addition to a sum of RM300,000 that was disbursed in 2022 which involved 19 aquaculture entrepreneurs and 85 Tagang projects throughout Sarawak,” added. — DayakDaily