Uggah to Betong farmers: Prepare to fully utilise Bebuling STOL airport in 2023

From right: Uggah, Rentap, Kang and Dr. Richard having a photo session during a visit to one of the farms at Betong yesterday (Aug 12, 2020).

BETONG, Aug 13:  Betong farmers are called to increase food production within these three years as the Bebuling short-take off and landing (STOL) airport will be ready to airlift food products to markets by then.

Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the ministry is in the midst of implementing various programmes and plans to raise food production in the Betong division.

He said the Betong/Sarikei Food Basket and the Sadok Agropolitan areas would be its main production centres.

“We have put in place a number of preparatory facilities.  They are the Simpang Layar collecting, processing and packaging centre (CPPC) for durian as well as another one in Spaoh.

“The area where the farmer’s organisation office is located is being upgraded to modernise the processing of pepper, Nipah sugar (gula apong) and stingless bee honey.

“We are also setting up several precision farming demonstration plots to promote the modern agriculture concept like fertigation in particular,” said Uggah before attending a briefing on the Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF) projects for the division at the Betong Agriculture Office here yesterday.

Uggah, who is Deputy Chief Minister added that the Sarawak Land Custody and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) office here would do livestock breeding in its oil palm estate.

He said the plan is for the estate to produce approximately 1,000 calves every year and private investors would be invited to participate in the project.

“We need to start production in three years from now as by then the Bebuling short-take off and landing (STOL) airport will be ready to airlift our products to the markets,” he added.

Later, Uggah accompanied by Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu and political secretary to the Chief Minister Dr Richard Rapu and the Betong divisional agriculture officer Petrus Kang visited a fertigation farm of a local youth  —DayakDaily