KUCHING: The Sarawak government will assist players in the agriculture industry to enable them to supply to overseas markets, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.
Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, says there is potential in agriculture due to the state having vast land, and that he hopes the private sector would play their part in transforming Sarawak into a net exporter.
“It’s a long journey, but I’m sure it can be achieved especially when the supply, either arranged by the government or the private sector, can be intensified.
“We believe that when there is a producer and an end-market, the sector will propel the state’s economy,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of an agreement to exclusively supply tilapia fish, between Borneo Eco Fish Sdn Bhd and SugarBun Fast Food Chain here yesterday.
Uggah said the Sarawak government would continue to provide the necessary infrastructure and support services to create an environment conducive to the agriculture sector.
“Now, the ministry is assisting farmers, especially in Batang Ai, by upgrading the facilities there so that those involved in fish-rearing will be able to meet the requirements of the international market,” he added.
He noted that the Borneo Eco Fish, which produces tilapia fish for export to Singapore and also supplies for SugarBun, had been moving into the direction of catering for the international market. He hoped that with the exclusive-supply signing ceremony, it would be the beginning to more collaborations between the producers and the markets.
“I also hope more companies in Sarawak would assist in this very noble cause of transforming our agriculture sector to become one of the most important sectors in the economic development in Sarawak.
“We are also moving towards smart farming and I hope Batang Ai would also move to smart farming so that you could increase your productivity and make us competitive, to compete against Vietnam, Kuala Lumpur and Indonesia, who are our competitors now.”
The exclusive-supply agreement is for Borneo Eco Fish to supply a minimum of 10 tonnes of tilapia fish per month to SugarBun, at a very specific premium quality and size.
It is expected that the requirement tonnage would increase in the months to come with the many joint promotional activities by both parties.
SugarBun general manager Raymond Teo and Borneo Eco Fish managing director Thomas Hii represented their respective companies at the signing ceremony.
Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Uggah’s assistant ministers Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn and Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, and Kuching South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng were among those present at the ceremony.