On the cards – banana bastion in Tasik Biru for growers to trade

Uggah (second right) visiting the exhibition booth selling agricultural products. Seen from left are Miro, Ik Pahon and Henry.

By Jacob Achoi

BAU, Oct 24: A collection centre for banana will be built in Singai area near here for farmers to sell their produce.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the collection centre will cater for banana growers in Tasik Biru and is expected for construction next year.

“For the collection centre, my officers will look at the locality and start planning while for the cost we will work it out, but the collection will be set up here to cater for Tasik Biru and will be built next year,” Uggah told reporters today.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, has earlier officiated at the Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) and launching of Banana cluster planting at Dewan Singai.

The ceremony also includes the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the anchor company Agro Kenyalang, which is affiliated with a company in Kuala Lumpur to buy banana from the area.

He said the centre will provide convenience for banana farmers to sell their products and to solve the problem of ‘no buyers’.

“This is the model we want to develop to arrange for the whole supply chain to help our farmers.

“While the government provides the subsidy and technical support, we want anchor company to buy the products,” Uggah pointed out.

He further said that banana has a huge potential and bright future to develop.

According to him, there was already one company in Kota Samarahan producing banana powder and another company is Asajaya selling banana chips overseas.

In addition to that, Uggah also approved another allocation of RM1 million to intensify and expand the planting of banana in Tasik Biru area.

The allocation was to add to the previous allocation of RM500,000 to the area for the purpose.

Earlier in his speech, Uggah told the Agriculture Department to carry out extension programme to help the farmers.

He also hoped that the department works with Bau Area Farmers Association for a more attractive packaging and quality products to penetrate the global market.

Present at the ceremony were Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep,  Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh and Deputy State Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, among others. —DayakDaily