Friday, March 22

Desa Group can transform agriculture sector – CM


KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the Desa Group is capable of playing an important role in transforming Sabah’s agriculture sector into one that is modern, dynamic and competitive, in line with the state’s Halatuju and the National Economic Transformation Programme.

Speaking at the Desa Nite 2012 Dinner here last night, he said the group being a corporate entity and a government linked company has integrated into its business the recruitment and expansion of contract farming programmes in poultry farming through smart partnership with farmers.

He said this was part of efforts to expand chicken production volume and at the same time raise income of farmers through the provision of guaranteed intermediate markets at viable prices for their produce.

The agency, he added, has fulfilled a very important socio-economic responsibility role of developing the farmers into modern self-reliant business entrepreneurs, especially in the rural areas.

In this regard, he assured that the state government would do its part by giving all necessary support in facilitating this programme towards success.
“With Desa Group’s core businesses largely in the agro-food sector, and being one of the major producers of poultry and fresh milk in the state, it is my sincere hope that you will continue to boost productivity and output.

“This can be done by expanding production capacity, importing better poultry and cattle genetics, and by investing in modern farming systems to support intensive poultry and livestock agriculture,” he said.

He also suggested that the group expand its operation into value added downstream food production and the meat retail chain to meet the needs of the growing meat consumption demand as well as to ensure regular supply of fresh hygienic halal chicken and milk at affordable prices for the benefit of consumers, while at the same time generating a reasonable return on investment to sustain businesses.

On its part, he said the state government would ensure and renew its supportive role of providing suitable infrastructure such as roads and utilities, apart from commitment to other logistic needs and marketing services to support the integration of the agro-food value chain.

Musa also expressed hope that Desa Group and its business partners would continue to assist the state in developing a core of skilled Sabahans with the necessary expertise to accelerate the development of the poultry, dairy livestock and oil palm plantation industries.

“As you are aware, Sabah is poised for further economic development at an accelerated rate, and we need support from all quarters to bring progress to the state,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, the Chief Minister commended Desa Group for its success in implementing various business turnaround and financial restructuring strategies as well as various initiatives which were mainly funded from internal generated fund.

He said this was made possible due to the group’s current stronger financial position and the board and management’s effective and efficient strategic management of funds and resources.

He noted that through its business restructuring strategies, the group has achieved positive financial improvement in terms of profitability.