Tarat farmers urged to utilise Tarat Agriculture Station to breed Empurau

Uggah (centre), Inland Fisheries Officer Emylin Badut (left) and Chai watching Empurau feeding in a tank at the Tarat station.

SERIAN, March 13: Farmers at the Tarat constituency have been urged to utilise the Tarat Agriculture Station near here for the breeding of “Empurau”.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas revealed that there is a centre, the Tarat Indigenous Fisheries Research and Production Centre (TIFRPC) at the Tarat Agriculture Station, which is dedicated to the breeding of fries especially the “Empurau”, Sarawak’s most famous and sought after gourmet fish.

Uggah paid a visit to TIFRPC today while accompanied by Thien Yien Enterprise Sdn Bhd’s managing director Pooh Chee Ngee in which the company operates a private crawfish production project at the Tarat constituency.

“We are facilitating the development by allowing the company, Thien Yien Entreprise Sdn Bhd to use part of our Tarat Station facilities.

“This local company is already specialising in the production and export of different kinds of sauces and restaurant food products to Southeast Asia (Asean) countries, Hong Kong and others.

“It also sees the huge potential in crawfish for the export specially for the export markets.

“It can be one of our model crawfish farms here,” he said.

Uggah (centre) observing Empurau fries at one of the breeding tanks at the Tarat Agriculture Station.

Meanwhile, Uggah who is also the Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, urged farmers to embrace precision farming which could help them to generate better crops and income for themselves.

He revealed that the Tarat Agriculture Station near here has been identified as one of the areas for greenhouse farming projects.

He added Sarawak planned to promote greenhouse farming statewide under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) (2021-2025).

Uggah stressed that greenhouse farming was one of the main developments being emphasised for the state agriculture sector under 12MP, adding that Sarawak is targeting to be a net producer and exporter of food and food products by 2030.

As such, Uggah disclosed that some 12 places throughout the state have been identified for the precision farming concept.

“The Tarat project, on a 15-hectare site, is expected to cost us about RM25 million to develop.

“We want farmers here to join us in embracing precision farming for proven better yields and income.

“We are proposing this to the government. Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg wants us to transform the state agriculture into a modern and productive commercial sector through precision farming,” he said after visiting the Tarat Agriculture Station here today. He was accompanied by State Agriculture Department director Dr Alvin Chai and its Crop Division head, Dominic Chunggat.

Uggah said the greenhouse farming plan would incorporate latest technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and is expected to cost a total of RM280 million.

He recalled that the state government has implemented a greenhouse farm at the Rampangi Integrated Agriculture Station in Kuching and some agropreneurs have done very well. — DayakDaily