Sunday, September 25

Kelulut farming a viable venture for rural folk, says rep

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Dennis (seated, sixth left) joins the workshop participants in a group photo.

MARUDI: The ‘kelulut’ (stingless bee) farming is a viable venture for the people in the rural areas, in that it is included under the Sarawak government’s mission to boost the economic standing of rural Sarawakians.

According to Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, the state government has the funding provision for this category of bee-farming.

Under the 2020 State Budget, over RM700 millions is allocated for the provision of basic assistance and infrastructures for those who are serious in venturing into modern farming.

“This is an effort by the state government to make Sarawak a net exporter of food by 2030. It strives to give Sarawakians the opportunity to elevate their economic standing via farming.

“Moreover, there’s a great market demand for kelulut honey at the moment, so it is a great place to start,” he spoke at the start of a workshop on kelulut farming at a restaurant here recently.

Dennis (centre) gives away a kelulut log to one of the aspiring kelulut farmers.

Later, the assemblyman handed over kelulut ‘logs’ (platform for the hives) to 74 aspiring stingless bee farmers here – each of whom also received additional assistance of RM600.

According to Dennis, the funding for the bee-farming is from the Ministry of Agriculture Native Land and Regional Development, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

“We have made a thorough study during the selection process and therefore, I hope you would take this venture seriously. You must submit reports on your kelulut farming, including incomes from the sales of honey, to the Agriculture Department office in Baram

“What’s important is your commitment. I’m sure the Agriculture Department is ever so willing to work with you and help you market your products,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dennis announced that he would organise more ‘Farmers Day’ events slated for his constituency next year.

“This will help the farmers in Telang Usan market their products, including the kelulut honey, and at the same time, stimulate the local economy.”

Nevertheless, he also encouraged local to capitalise on the Internet, adding that this had been one of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s  key priorities ever since he took leadership in 2017.

“He (Abang Johari) is very serious about this – he has allocated more than RM1 billion to ensure that Sarawakians, especially the rural communities, would have better Internet service,” added Dennis.