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By Nur Ashikin Louis
PUSA, June 3: A study is currently being undertaken on the production of ‘garam apong’ (nipah palm salt), says Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said garam apong is an organic product with a premium value.
“Thus, we want the scientists (to study) how to produce garam apong.
“Some say that we need to cut down the nipah trunks to get the ‘apong’ (nipah), so we must find new ways to get the ‘getah apong’ (nipah sap) which is the raw material for us to produce byproducts, including ‘gula apong’ and ‘garam apong’,” he said when speaking at a Gawai-Raya event for Batang Lupar parliamentary-level held at Tandang Sari compound here today.
He also mentioned that the Sago and Nipah Development Board (SNDB) had been formed under the Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Sarawak (MFICORD), which would conduct scientific research and oversee the development of the nipah and sago industry.
He further mentioned that the pilot project is currently being implemented in Kampung Teh, Mukah which involves the distribution of methane gas produced from sago palm through piping system as an alternative source of cooking gas to local households.
If the gas can be distributed at a lower price, he pointed out that the local community can open up a domestic cottage industry by making ‘kuih muih’ and various food.
“We are also conducting a study to see whether the project in Mukah can be implemented in Batang Saribas because Saribas has a lot of nipah palm. With the research, it will be able to add value to the industry related to palm. Thus, we must take care of our ‘apong’.
“Today, many people want to eat ‘gula apong ice cream’. You can go to the Kuching Waterfront and see many people queued up to get the ice cream. This is one of the byproduct of ‘apong’,” he added.
Also present were Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who is also Betong Division Development Agency chairman, Deputy Sarawak Secretary (Economic and Development Planning) Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel, Batang Lupar MP Mohamad Shafizan Kepli, Betong MP Richard Rapu, Beting Maro assemblyman Razaili Gapor, Saribas assemblyman Mohd Razi Sitam, Lingga assemblywoman Dayang Noorazah Awang Sohor and Betong Resident Richard Michael Abunawas. — DayakDaily