KUCHING: A model farm on fertigation farming will soon be established at SMK Spaoh in Betong, reveals Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
According to him, this is to provide rural folk with an insight to modern farming.
“Modern agriculture or modern farming is an evolving approach based on technology to help farmers increase efficiency and productivity.
“We have huge potential as the state still has plenty of lands available,” he said at the Spaoh Sub-District Longhouse Chiefs Association (SSLCA) pre-Gawai Dayak dinner in Spaoh last night.
Uggah, who is also Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, pointed out that with the Sarawak government’s plan to build an airstrip in Betong to transport farm produces for export, it is crucial that the state produces sufficient volume of agricultural products to justify this airstrip.
“The whole idea here is for farmers to be able to generate an income for themselves through farming and at the same time, for Sarawak to be a net exporter of food and food products by 2030,” he emphasised.
He added that among the farming activities farmers can consider include planting of bananas, coconuts, pineapples, durians and corn among others as well as livestock rearing.
During the dinner, Uggah also called on SSLCA to focus on improving the academic performance among students particularly those who are sitting for public examinations such as UPSR.
“I want more students to achieve 6As in UPSR as such high achievers seem to be of a rare breed in rural areas compared to their urban counterparts.
“Towards this end, I want the association to set up a special committee to work closely with teachers and come up with strategies to improve and achieve good academic performance,” he said and suggested that they organise seminars and motivational talks for students and their parents.
He also gave his assurance the he, alongside Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat and Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu, will be ready to provide assistance to these students.
Uggah later announced a grant of RM30,000 to SSLCA, which also received grants of RM20,000 and RM10,000 from Robert and Gerald respectively.
The dinner also saw the presentation of development project awards, study incentives to students, certificates of appreciation to retiring community leaders as well as certificates to 30 women who recently completed a course on making the traditional Iban sarong known as ‘kain burie’.