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Last Update: 27 May 2019
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DCM suggests DoA extend services to IADA farmers
Posted on : 26 Feb 2019  Source of News: The Borneopost Online

Uggah (front, third left) and Julaihi (second left) listen to a briefing by Irwandee on the Sebangan-Bajong AIS coastal protection bunds.

SEBUYAU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has suggested Department of Agriculture (DoA) to complement the Integrated Agriculture Development Area (IADA) with extended services to farmers to help push this sector.

In this respect, he learns that the IADA, which is a federal agency, only provides assistance to farmers until the planting stage without follow-up services.

Our farmers need to be guided to enable them to use the correct fertilisers and maintain their crops to ensure maximum productivity and (also to address) any problem that may arise later on, and for this reason I have suggested to DoA to provide extended services (to farmers) after the planting of the crops,” Uggah told reporters yesterday, after visiting the Sebangan-Bajong Agriculture Integrated Scheme (AIS) here together with Assistant Minister of Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, who is Sebuyau assemblyman, and DoA officers.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, stressed that the correct model and programmes were necessary to boost Sarawak’s agricultural sector.

He added that the government’s role in agriculture was to provide facilities and links to the outside market by identifying anchor companies that had international recognition for their products, which could help farmers market their products.

According to him, the ministry had been allocated with RM459 million to support various agricultural programmes in Sarawak slated for increasing production and products’ quality, in line with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s policy of exporting more quality agricultural products.

He added that Sarawak was also competing with Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, apart from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, in terms of producing quality products and marketing them at competitive prices.

“Developing our state’s agricultural sector is a journey for us…what we will also do is to build on a story from our many Sarawakian agropreneurs, who are successful,” he pointed out, highlighting that ensuring continuous supply as being ‘very important’.

Uggah also said the coconut plantation in Sebangan-Bajong AIS would be planted with new and productive species to help farmers in the area increase their income.

According to him, the farmers there are now earning more than RM3,000 a month.

According to him, 3,638 hectares of Sebangan-Bajong AIS’ total area of 16,000 hectares are planted with coconuts, while ‘pisang kepok’ (a banana variety) planting covers 16 hectares.

“I can see that the area here (Sebangan-Bajong AIS) has a huge potential for agriculture and has a bright future, which the government will gradually develop,” he said.

Present were Samarahan Resident Brahim Lumpu and Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) engineer for Kuching and Samarahan divisions, Irwandee Reduan.