Work hard, adopt new technology to achieve 2030 food security objectives, Dr Rundi tells ministry staff

Dr Rundi (third right) presenting an award to FICORD staff during the Excellent Award Ceremony at a hotel as others look on (Feb 21, 2024).

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Feb 21: Sarawak has to work hard and must adopt new technology in these 6.5 years years to achieve its 2030 food security objectives, says Minister of Food Industry, Commodity And Regional Development (FICORD) Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Ukom

To do so, Dr Rundi pointed out, the State must rely on and resort to artificial intelligence and learn fast from benchmarks, especially concerning paddy.

“Not all soils are suitable for paddy planting as some areas have deep pits, but the ministry has identified good areas for the crop,” he said.

He told reporters this after presenting excellent service awards to his ministry staff at a hotel here today.

Dr Rundi revealed that some people are trying to use hybrid varieties on such crops.

He advised whoever wants to do this must make sure they go through and follow the procedures and compliances.

“This is to protect the indigenous varieties that we have, as we have premium paddy varieties supplied like ‘biris’, ‘bajong’, ‘bario’ and etcetera. And I don’t want them to be overwhelmed by the new varieties,” he said.

Dr Rundi also said he welcomes people’s efforts, as well as that of the private sector, but they must go through proper channels.

“We have the Department of Agriculture. They have all the procedures, compliance and quarantine facilities.”

He also stressed the importance of bio-security in crops and not just food security for future generations.

“If we don’t have bio-security, it will affect the agricultural activities that we have, especially paddy and other crops as well,” he emphasised.

Earlier, Dr Rundi presented excellent service awards to nine of his ministry’s staff. He urged his staff to continue to contribute and work hard to achieve the ministry’s objectives.

His deputies, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail and Datuk Martin Ben and FICORD permanent secretary Sirai Daha were among those present at the award ceremony. — DayakDaily