KOTA MARUDU: The third Agricultural Products Collection Centre (APCC) run by the Rural Development Corporation (KPD) was officially opened today at Kampung Damai, about 10km from here.
The centre is part of KPD’s long-term plan to develop six such APCCs throughout Sabah at a cost of RM13,206,320. The other two completed APCCs are APCC Kundasang and APCC Beaufort while three more are nearing completion in Keningau, Lahad Datuk and Telupid.
In his speech, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan commended KPD for its continued efforts to assist farmers in the rural regions sell their products to larger markets.
“While farmers have no trouble producing agricultural products, they frequently lack a market for them, owing to saturated local marketplaces. They are frequently forced to cut their prices in order to can move their stocks.
“APCCs will aid in eliminating the problem since farmers who have registered with the centres can always earn fair prices for their products.
“This is due to the KPD Smart marketing integrated system which connects the APCCs with potential purchasing companies that will bid on the products.
“Based on this special feature, KPD’s initiative to build the six APCCs is not only relevant, but timely, as it will contribute significantly to the government’s Sabah Maju Jaya initiative to boost the people’s economy, particularly the rural farming community,” he said.
Currently, agricultural activities in the districts of Pitas, Kudat, Kota Belud and Kota Marudu in northern Sabah produce a variety of high-value commodities such as honey, Saba bananas, sweet potatoes, peanuts, yellow pumpkins, ginger, sweet corns, waxy corn, swiftlets’ nests and various types of seafood products.
The APCC Kota Marudu currently has just 249 registered agropreneurs but KPD anticipates that more will register following the official opening ceremony.
The centre is outfitted with collection rooms, grading, cold storage, packaging and transportation of agricultural products, among other services.
The marketing system, KPD Smart, will also allow KPD to keep digital records of all agricultural activities of their participants and manage supplies to match current and future demands, reducing the risk of market product gluts.
“Since its inception, KPD has repeatedly proven itself to be the best partner of our local farming community, offering important and relevant services to the people of Sabah.
“I hope the agency will continue to commit to developing various agricultural projects and improve the people’s well-being in rural areas,” he said.