Uggah calls for a clamp down on Musang King seedling fraud

Uggah (3rd left) flanked by Dr Abdul Rahman (2nd left), Sagah (3rd right) and Awang Johari (2nd right) with a 6.3kg empurau fish at the Empurau Hatchery Centre at the Tarat Agriculture Inland Fishery, near Serian today.

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SERIAN, Jan 22: The issue of certain suppliers supplying non-Musang King durian seedlings to farmers and passing them off as the real thing in the state has cropped up again.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, who is Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development (Manred),  wants the deception to end.

“I want those from the department responsible to distribute them to farmers to ensure they are the genuine seedlings. Unscrupulous suppliers are mixing other species with the Musang King seedlings. This has happened before and is happening now due to the great demand,” he said when attending a briefing on the Serian Division Agriculture Development programmes held at the district agriculture office today.

Uggah said dissatisfied farmers were taking to social media to vent their frustration and disappointment.

“This has created a poor public perception of the programme and some people would blame the government for this,” he said.

Uggah said officers must also ensure that suppliers selected to supply the seedlings must have their orchards to prevent them from sourcing unverified suppliers, including from outside the state.

On the same issue, he said courses on how to properly care for the seedlings will be planned out for farmers.

He further urged officers to engage with their area’s elected representatives when distributing the seedlings for tree rehabilitation or other related programmes.

He was joined by the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Michael Manyin, Assistant Minister of Native Land Datuk Roland Sagah, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot and Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben. Also present were the permanent secretary to Uggah’s ministry Awang Johari Awang Mustapha, the state Agriculture Department Director Dr Alvin Chai and Serian Resident Suni Tuah at the briefing.

Uggah later visited the Empurau Hatchery Centre at the Tarat Agriculture Inland Fishery, near Serian. —DayakDaily