Source: The Borneo Post
Uggah (fourth right), Manyin (third left) and other guests in a group photo with the aid recipients
SERIAN: A total of 182 smallholders in Tebedu constituency have received agriculture and livestock input assistance worth more than RM1.38 million under the state government’s Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF) programme this year. The amount comprises RM790,000 for livestock breeding projects and RM591,265 for agriculture projects.
The symbolic presentation took place at Tayung Langui Hall in Kampung Pichin yesterday, which was officiated at by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah. Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said the Sarawak government was allocating RM265 million for the AFF programme this year to assist smallholders in the state.
For the programme in Tebedu, he said the assistance was meant for those involved in the breeding of swiftlets, pigs, goats, broiler chickens, broiler ducks, hybrid chickens, layers (hens) and cows, as well as those involved in fish farming, harvesting of kelulut honey, and planting of corn, chillies and Musang King durian.
“The agriculture and livestock input assistance is a statewide programme under the Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF). This fund is over and above the normal allocation to the Agriculture Department. The priority is precision farming, livestock, Musang King durian and so on. We are using this to improve the income of people in the rural areas,” he told reporters when met after the event.
He added that certain mechanism was involved such as the presence of anchor companies to ensure the products and produce are bought, as well as to enhance the role of Area Farmers Organisations to market those produce and products. He also said that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had met with the Sarawak Farmers Organisation new chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail on Tuesday where several matters such as tie-up with Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) were discussed.
“Sarawak is not competing in Malaysia alone. We are competing against Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries. If you look at the pig industry, we have managed to export almost RM70 million worth (of pigs) last year to Singapore. So, we have the competitive advantage such as pigs being free from diseases,” he said, adding Singapore was also ready to import tilapia and midin from Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Tebedu assemblyman Dato Sri Michael Manyin said the agriculture and livestock input assistance showed that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is always ready with programmes to assist the people. The Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research, nonetheless, hoped more people in Tebedu particularly native land owners would plant cash crops instead of leaving their land idle and unproductive.
“If you go from Serian to Tebedu, or Serian to Mongkos, you will see jungle on both sides of the road. I hope to see this land being planted with commercial crops that can improve your income,” he said.
Assistant Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Roland Sagah, Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben, Bukit Semuja assemblyman John Ilus, a political secretary to the chief minister Dr Simon Sinang Bada, Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud and heads of departments were also present.