KUCHING: The Sarawak government has set aside a total of RM2.3 million as special assistance for farmers and fishermen in the state in light of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which is enforced to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who announced this in a press statement today, said the state government acknowledged the fact that, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the enforcement of the MCO, farmers and fishermen are facing problems in selling their produces and catches which have negatively impacted their income.
“Our state government has set aside a sum of RM1.5 million to the state Farmer Organisation to buy produce from the smallholder farmers.
“This amount will be channelled to all the respective area Farmer Organisations state-wide,” he said.
Uggah said a sum of RM200,000 has been allocated to the Federal Agriculture Marketing Board (Fama) offices statewide to buy the farmers produces and to organise the Pasar Tani.
Uggah, who is also the Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development, urged farmers to approach the two organisations in order to sell their produces.
“In turn, these organisations will bring their produces and catches to the markets. As a matter of fact, farmers and fishermen in Betong, Samarahan, Meradong, Sibu, Limbang, Bintulu and Miri among others have done this.
“So please contact your nearest agriculture and and Fama offices,” he said.
For the fishermen, Uggah said the Sarawak government has allocated a sum of RM600,000 to the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) for the authority to buy the catches of fishermen.
“The above initiatives clearly indicate the Sarawak government is most concerned over the welfare of the two groups.
“They are very significant players in our food chain and thus we are coming up with these solutions for them,” he added.