Keningau to become Sabah’s Fruit Valley next year

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sabah Agriculture Department plans to turn the district of Keningau, Sabah, into a Fruit Valley which focuses on banana, lemon and avocado farming to increase the state’s agricultural productivity and income.
Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said the plan would be realised through the establishment of the Apin-Apin Permanent Food Production Park (TKPM) in Keningau, which is expected to be ready next year with an allocation of RM2.5 million from the federal government.
“The government, through the Sabah Agriculture Department will increase the total size of TKPM areas in the state with the establishment of four other parks, namely the Sg Koyah TKPM, Kinabatangan Phase 2 TKPM,  Limbuak Banggi Kudat TKPM, and Ulu Bole Sipitang TKPM, along with two mini TKPMs, one each in Ulu Bongawan and Serudong, Kalabakan.
The increase in the number of TKPM within the next 10 years under the 12th and 13th Malaysia Plans will increase the potential of crop production in Sabah as a regional agricultural hub.”
He said this in reply to Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman (Warisan-Sepanggar) who wanted to know the steps taken by the ministry in optimising Sabah’s potential as a regional agricultural hub, at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
Meanwhile, Ahmad said in order to boost smart agriculture in Sabah, the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) had implemented technology transfer in modern agriculture such as fertigation cultivation system especially for rockmelon, ginger, chilli, tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, to expansion officers, private companies and institutes of higher learning.
For the livestock sector, he said the ministry through the Sabah Veterinary Services Department was striving to implement smart agriculture by applying the latest technologies and breeding methods in accordance with the fourth industrial revolution.
“This includes introducing an integrated cattle breeding system in oil palm plantation. The application of modern technologies, such as the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag is also being used to enhance livestock traceability and monitoring,” he said.
Apart from that, he said the dairy cow breeding activities were also growing rapidly in Sabah, which will help the state to become one of the main producers of fresh milk in the country.


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