Uggah rallies staff to transform agriculture sector, rid state of poverty

Uggah (second from right) hands over an Excellent Service Award to an officer at the function. On stage with them are Sirai (right) and Awang Johari.

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KUCHING, June 29: The Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development (Manred) is determined to transform the state’s agriculture sector and eradicate the remnants of poverty.

Its minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said state agriculture master plan would be implemented starting next year.

“We are bringing in new technologies into the sector, getting more and more young people involved and using new business models. The journey will not be plain sailing because of the current political scenario in the country and the competitions posed by neighbouring countries,” he said at an `Appreciation night cum Gawai Raya gathering’ at a hotel here yesterday.

Uggah told those present that the tasks ahead were very critical and the agenda very important.

“If we are successful in our tasks, we will bring beautiful changes to the lives of our farmers. We will eradicate the remnants of poverty, now at 0.6 per cent. We will also make the state a net exporter of food and food products by 2030,” he said in a statement.

“But I believe we will be equal to the tasks and tackle all challenges ahead if we can all pull our resources together. We had also faced similar challenges in the past and had the experience.”

On poverty, Uggah said the figure stood at 60 per cent in the 70s, but it had since dropped to a mere 0.6 per cent at present, or about 60,000 poor and hardcore poor families.

“Our aim is to completely eradicate this,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, Uggah remarked that he was fortunate to have two capable assistant ministers helping him handle agriculture and native land issues. They are, in turn, supported by equally committed and experienced officers and staff.

Present at the function were Assistant Ministers Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn (Native Land Development) and Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail (Agriculture), Manred Sports and Social Club advisor Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, who is now Acting Deputy State Secretary, acting Permanent Secretary Awang Johari Awang Mustapha and the club chairman Sirai Daha. — DayakDaily