KUCHING: A SUM of RM20 million has been approved for the construction of 204 farm infrastructure projects benefitting 3,900 farm families.
To date, 49 projects have been completed while 155 projects are still in progress and expected to be completed at the end of this year, said Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
“The government has approved RM8 million for the establishment of four Collection, Processing and Packaging Centres (CPPC) including Tarat, Serian and Layar Integrated Agriculture Station, Betong to strengthen the commercialisation effort of agriculture produce.
“I am pleased to announce that preliminary works have started at Tarat, Serian and Layar Integrated Agriculture Station, Betong,” he said when delivering his ministerial winding-up speech yesterday.
Uggah said RM31.9 million out of an approved allocation of RM37 million had been spent on crop development to assist smallholders for income-generating projects.
The projects included oil palm, sago, coconut, pepper, fruits, Permanent Food Production Zone, Fruit Rehabilitation and Agriculture Diversification Programme to benefit 6,685 farm families, he added.
“These income-generating projects are progressing well and the majority of these projects are scheduled to be completed at the end of this year.” Apart from that, he said RM15 million had been approved for livestock development, of which RM13 million was for the development of cattle industry and RM2 million for edible bird’s nest projects.
He was delighted that the cattle integration in the oil palm plantations had been successfully completed.
“A total of 1,460 cattle breeders consisting of 1,420 females and 40 males have been distributed to 13 oil palm plantations throughout the state.
“The edible bird’s nest projects for the hardcore poor listed in the e-Kasih system are progressing well. To date, from a total of 100 swiftlet premises approved in this project, 11 units are scheduled to be completed by end of this month,” he said.
He added that construction works for the other 89 units were expected to commence soon.Uggah, also Deputy Chief Minister, said the state government had also approved an allocation of RM2.25 million to implement eight projects next year in line with the state agenda to develop digital economy.
Among the projects are mapping of agriculture land use status and soil capability through Geospatial Database and High-Resolution Satellite Images utilising drone and Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) technology, utilising sensors for breeding and river enrichment purposes for production of high value indigenous fish such as Empurau, and implementing traceability system for swiftlet farming using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology as well as quick response (QR) code.