THE Permanent Food Production Park (PFPP) programme is one of the initiatives that the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Sarawak (Manred) is seriously looking into.
In stating this, Bintulu Agriculture officer Anggang Jimbun has expressed hope for the ministry to develop PFPP in the division, of which one of the components is the collection, processing and packing centre (CPPC).
“Local farmers can participate in PFPP, while the CPPC will help them market their products and increase their incomes,” she told The Borneo Post here during a recent interview conducted in connection with Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi’s 100 days in office as the minister-in-charge of Manred.
PFPP is one of strategies under the Third National Agriculture Policy to encourage the implementation of a large-scale, commercial and high technology agriculture project by the entrepreneurs and the private sector.
On Dr Rundi’s 100 days in office, Anggang said overall, she was pleased with the performance and the commitment shown by the minister.
“His overall performance has been very good, and I hope he would continue his effort to increase the income of the agriculture community in Bintulu,” she said.
A local agropreneur involved in planting MD2 pineapple, Caroline Ijon, also expressed her hope for Dr Rundi to ‘put in that extra effort’ in promoting modern agriculture set to improve the socio-economy of local farmers.
“We, the local farmers, need to be guided in terms of marketing our produce virtually, such as via social media, to expand our market and attract more potential buyers.
“Apart from that, we also need guidance in terms of advisory services and farm management, to ensure that we could yield high quality crops, achieve the targeted production and also increase our income,” said the 54-year-old villager of Rumah Francis Embal at Sungai Kelabat Pandan in Sebauh.
Caroline’s MD2 pineapple estate covers two hectares of land at KM22 of Jalan Samarakan Bintulu, and it is run under her company Carlex Farm.
Adding on, the pineapple agropreneur stressed that local farmers needed to be exposed to various types of high-potential crops or livestock that could generate high income.
“I hope Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi could further expand the agriculture market to other countries, especially in encouraging the local farmers to increase their productivity, thus enabling them to continue uplifting their socio-economy,” she added.
On Dr Rundi’s first 100-day performance in office, Caroline was satisfied with the minister’s commitment and active involvement in monitoring the implementation of agriculture and farming-related programmes in Sarawak.
“I can see the assistance being distributed to the farmers and agro-operators to facilitate the mission of implementing modern agriculture.
“I am following his (Dr Rundi’s) progress through social media, the television and local radio channels.
“Actually, I was also involved in programmes hosted by the agencies under his ministry,” said Caroline, adding that she received various assistance and incentives from the Agriculture Department such as fertilisers, pesticides and other agriculture inputs, including the MD2 pineapple cultivars worth RM42,000 provided by the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board in October 2021.