KUCHING: Farmers in the Skrang area are encouraged to switch from conventional
farming to a more modern one, which may include large-scale operations.
Such change would improve their economy due to the expected maximisation of profits, said Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa.
He believed that the modernisation of agriculture would be possible, with assistance from the Sarawak government.
“Gone are the days when farmers treated farming, rearing of livestock and fishing almost like a hobby and for their own consumption only.
“Now, the farmers must be bold in changing their mindset and practices so that they can improve their economy by maximising profits through the modernisation of their methods. The government is ever ready to assist by providing them with input, as well as help in marketing their products,” he said during a lunch gathering at Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa community hall in Skrang Resettlement Scheme yesterday, which also doubled as a programme meant to provide input to local farmers relating to modernisation of agriculture.
On modern farming practices, Rayong believed that it had to be done in a large scale for it to make any significant impact.
Moreover, he said unemployed graduates should regard agriculture as ‘a golden opportunity’.
“They must be bold to venture into modern agriculture. Farming is no more an activity for the ageing people and those residing in villages,” he said in motivating graduates to take up farming as a career.
Rayong said the Sarawak government had set up many collection centres so that the farmers would not have to worry about marketing.
It is known that one such centre at Layar in Betong, is the nearest to Skrang.
Later, Rayong presented education incentives to students from Skrang who did excellently in their Form 3 Assessment (PT3) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations, as well as those going to various institutions of higher learning.
He also contributed some donations to victims of a recent fire, which struck Rumah Engkabi Jamu San Semanju.
Additionally, Rayong presented RM10,000 from his minor rural project (MRP) grant to Engkilili-Lubok Antu Area Farmers Organisation.