Tuesday, December 7

Fatimah calls for ICT input to assist sago-based cottage industry

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DALAT: There is a need for enterprising individuals who are knowledgeable in information and communication technology (ICT) to come forwardand assist the sago-based cottage industry to market their products through the Internet in order to penetrate the global market, said Minister of Welfare, Woman and Family Development Sarawak Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.

Additionally, Fatimah also called on local cottage industry producers to use ICT to enhance their product quality, packaging and labelling to be more appealing to consumers.

Fatimah said this to reporters after she chaired a committee meeting on the forthcoming Carnival Balau Dalat 20.

The meeting that took place at the Dalat District Office recently was also attended by Dalat District Officer Yussibnosh Balo, Dalat District Information Officer Khalid Aini, Pemanca Henry Eli Berangai, government officers and community leaders.

While commending the efforts of the Agriculture Department, LCDA and Craun Research to enhance sago plantation, production, quality of starch and other upstream activities, Fatimah was of the opinion that more has to be done to improve the downstream activities, including marketing, packaging, labelling and product variations.

According to Pemanca Henry Eli,the current price of a sago trunk (or locally called ‘lumpong’) measuring about 3 feet in Dalat is between RM14 to RM15 each and that every matured sago palm can be cut into 10 to 12 ‘lumpongs’.

On a related matter, Fatimah disclosed that Carnival Balau Dalat 2011 is scheduled to be held at Tebingan Dalat waterfront on Nov 12-13.

“We have invited our Head Of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Mohammad Salahuddin and wife Toh Puan Hajah Norkiah to be the guest-of-honour at the official closing ceremony of the carnival on Sunday (Nov 13),” said the Dalat assemblywoman.

Fatimah further disclosed that the organisers are planning to produce the longest ‘linut’ (traditional Melanau delicacy made of sago starch normally eaten with local ‘sambal’ and ‘ulam’) to be entered into Malaysia Book of Records to promote the distinctive local food among Malaysians and foreign tourists.

Other activities include stage shows, cultural presentations, silat, lion dance, community booths, promotion and exhibition of ‘Sarawak Best’ products and sago-based signature products, telematches and water activities.