SPAOH (Aug 27): The Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development has been allocated RM87 million by the state government to continue with existing and/or to carry out new agricultural development programmes.
According to its minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah the amount included RM50 million for its Agriculture Facilitation Fund.
“The allocation will allow us to develop more fruit and vegetables grown by fertigation, breeding, inland fishery and other programmes and activities for the people,” he said when officiating at a community policing course for 55 longhouse chiefs here yesterday.
Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said the government’s objective is to ensure that rural people can become quality and quantity food producers apart from allowing them to generate stable income.
“This is in line with the state’s agenda to be a net food and food product exporter by 2030. More supporting programmes like the setting up of food terminals and Collecting, Processing and Collecting Centres (CPPCs) and other facilities are in the pipeline,” he added.
In addition, Area Farmer’s Organisation will continue to buy any surplus produce from farmers, he said.
The Agriculture Department will also continue to guide farmers in using modern technologies, he added.
Uggah later visited a seed farm enterprise, Green World Genetics (GWG) Debak Station at Simpang Debak nearby.
Its project manager Low Kok Leong was on hand to show him and Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat around.
GWC is a research and development company based in Kuala Lumpur specialising in the breeding, production and marketing of high quality non-GMO tropical hybrid seeds.
It engages with breeders from the USA, China, Thailand, India and Mexico in seed research and development.
It currently exports seeds to the Asia Pacific Region, Africa, Middle East and Latin American countries.
According to Uggah, the company branch was now doing research and development on 102 varieties of padi planted on a 1.5ha plot.
“We will introduce and promote to our local farmers those varieties that are most promising. We will increase the seed production. Our production is between one and two tonnes per season,” he said.
“The company has varieties that are able to produce eight tonnes per season but these are planted under controlled environment,” he said.
The company is also doing similar research and development on papaya and maize at a 27-ha site.
Betong Agriculture officer Petrus Kang was also present during the visit.