Tuesday, July 5

Ministry eyes companies outside S’wak to expand agricultural sector

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Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail

KUCHING (May 15): The Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Ministry is looking to engage companies from Peninsular Malaysia and overseas to expand the plantations of various crops in Sarawak.

Its Deputy Minister (Modernisation of Agriculture) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail said the ministry had been encouraging companies from Peninsular Malaysia to invest in the agriculture sector in the state.

According to him, the ministry is in the midst of identifying non-Sarawakian companies to help expand the state’s agriculture sector, so as to boost production.

“A few companies have been in touch with us, but it is still not enough, and we are still looking for more. There is not much land in Semenanjung, so we want to bring them (companies) to Sarawak.

“As for overseas such as from China, we encourage too,” he said when met by reporters during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house hosted by Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi at a hotel here yesterday.

Dr Abdul Rahman said the ministry was looking to identify anchor companies to engage contract farmers to increase productions for several types of products.

He named the agricultural products to be given emphasis on seeing larger plantations as coconut, banana, pineapple, durian and jackfruit.

According to him, these products are well received by consumers from overseas such as China.

“So we have plans to increase the plantation areas for these products. We will invite big companies to help us expand.

“God willing, we are in the midst of identifying land areas across Sarawak to go with our plantation expansion plans,” he said.

Dr Abdul Rahman said Sarawak was blessed with mass land and all the state needed to work on is meeting the requirements from overseas.

“For example, quality and quantity, and especially quantity because they (some overseas countries) need a big volume.

“At present, our farmers have small-time plantation areas. But we need larger plantation areas. For example, Mukah is suitable for the plantation of pineapple and honey lime (limau madu),” he said.

He added that all these were in line with one of the objectives under the Post Covid-19 Strategic Development 2030.