THE state government is looking into developing further the nipah palm sugar industry in view of its high commercial value.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development) Datuk Naroden Majais said a proposal on the development of nipah palm-based industry was being prepared to request for allocation from the federal government in the 11th Malaysia Plan.
“This allocation would ensure that upstream and downstream activities can be intensified,” he said yesterday.
Replying to Razaili Gapor’s (BN-Beting Maro) question on the forms of assistance to be given to nipah palm sugar entrepreneurs in the state, Naroden said several agencies such as the state Agriculture Department, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi), Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) and Federal Agricultural and Marketing Authority (Fama) were working to continue providing assistances to them.
“When properly planned and developed, the (nipah palm sugar) industry will have huge potential for expansion. In 2012 for example, 17 such entrepreneurs under the guidance of the Agriculture Dept generated an income of RM1.2 million.”
Naroden also disclosed that Fama and Agriculture Dept were planning to set up a modern processing centre in Pusa and Asajaya.
“The Entrepreneurs Development Unit under the Chief Minister’s Department and several government agencies are also working to set up a special committee to discuss ways and means to further develop the industry.”