KOTA SAMARAHAN: The state government will be developing a bio-industrial park not far from the collection centre of agro products in Kota Samarahan industrial estate here.
Disclosing this yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed out that the bio-industrial park will consist of industries based on agriculture and biodiversity resources.
“Actually, the industrial park is already there. We just need to upgrade according to the needs and demand of entrepreneurs who are involved in the agro industry,” he elaborated.
“The main advantage is, it is near the collection centre and we can transform the rural development. I have announced RM5 million for the collection centre which means the materials are already there,” he said.
The whole supply chain can be established in Kota Samarahan, which Abang Johari added can be replicated in other districts including Sadong Jaya near Betong which is planned to be a food production hub.
“We can replicate the same thing to develop the northern area of the state as well. That’s why the plan is very important,” he said.
Hence, Abang Johari emphasised that the Institute for Rural Advancement or Infra Sarawak Campus at Kota Samarahan here augurs well with his bio-industrial park plan.
This training institute, he said, will help build the capacity of rural communities especially entrepreneurs who will go on to support and drive the development of downstream industries based on agriculture and natural resources in the state.
“Moreover, we have received several proposals from foreign companies interested in collaborating with Sarawak Biodiversity Council in carrying out research of raw materials in Sarawak,” he said after officiating at the soft launching ceremony of the Infra Sarawak Campus here.
Infra Sarawak Campus, he pointed out, will certainly be one of the institutions to provide many opportunities for training and lifelong learning to the target groups, especially grassroots leaders like community leaders and village chieftains as well as youths, women and rural communities in Sarawak.
“First, the village development committees will definitely benefit from the trainings and secondly, we can use this facility to train and provide exposure to rural entrepreneurs particularly,” he said.
“From there, more downstream (activities) can be created and developed for industry based on natural resources including biodiversity and modern agriculture,” he added.
He thus thanked the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development for setting up this training institute in Kota Samarahan.
The Sarawak campus is the second Infra training institute in Malaysia with its main campus in Bangi, Selangor.
The project, which costs RM55.6 million and is under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), is expected to be completed by this June.
Earlier in a briefing to give updates on the project, the Public Works Department (JKR) Putrajaya General Building 2 Works Branch director Samini Omar said the construction is 84.62 per cent completed.
“The project was scheduled for completion in March but there was a slight delay due to some technical problems and contractors have been given extension of time.
“It is expected to be completed and handed over by June,” she said.
“We believe JKR will provide all the assistance needed to ensure the balance of work is completed smoothly,” she added.
The Infra is a training institution under the purview of the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.
It is responsible for ensuring that rural communities’ capital development is realised through training, studies and research.
The institute conducts training programmes in empowering grassroots leadership, enhancing professionalism among personnel and instructors as well as creating cooperative networks for local and international training.
The Sarawak Campus can also become the reference centre in the area of rural research and development for Sarawak with professional educators in place as well as collaboration with experts in fields related to poverty eradication and improvement of standard of living of the rural people.
The purpose-built campus boasts facilities such as an administrative block that can accommodate 100 staff, academic block equipped with auditorium with a capacity of 200 people, lecture halls (capacity: 120 people) and computer lab (capacity: 60 people) as well as hostel to cater for 250 people and canteen.
The Chief Minister’s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas,
Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden Hollis were among those present.