RM553.07 million set aside to boost food self-sufficiency level this year

PUTATAN: The Agriculture, Fishery and Food Industry Ministry has allocated RM553.07 million for the agriculture, fishery and food industry sectors in this year’s budget to boost Sabah’s self-sufficiency level.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor assured that the State Government will step up efforts to increase yields and quality of agricultural produce to ensure adequate food supply in the state.
“Various initiatives and innovations have been introduced and implemented through crop development, aquaculture, breeding and agropreneur development programmes,” he said at the meet and greet programme with members of the Putatan Farmers’ Organisation at the Mobile Food Kiosk area here last tonight.
Hajiji said the State Government will continue to support the Farmers’ Organisation given their crucial role in the development of the state’s food industry.
Nonetheless, he said respective farmers organisations must take the initiative to diversify their economic activities in order to improve their members’ socio-economic status.
“Not just in Putatan, in fact, all members of the farmers’ organisations in the state must diversify and venture into the downstream industry. Farmers cannot just produce raw materials for the market, but instead ought to diversify their output to meet market demand. Take banana and pineapple, for example, it can be processed into snacks,” he said.
The Chief Minister said exploration of the downstream industry is important since the country still imports a certain amount of food from abroad to meet local consumption.
“By exploring such opportunities, farmers’ organisations will be able to improve their family’s socio-economic status,” he said.
Hajiji said Putatan district may not be able to have big-scale agricultural commodity activity due to its relatively small size compared to others in the state but with its close proximity to Kota Kinabalu City, the Putatan Farmers’ Organisation will have the opportunity to be a player in the agro-food value chain marketing industry.
“I hope more members of the farmers’ organisation will venture into the agro-food businesses by obtaining produce from other districts and process them into marketable products for the Kota Kinabalu market.
“Find ways and opportunities to work with the local authorities or private sector and create a smart partnership in all aspects of the agro-food value chain sector,” he said.
The Chief Minister also welcomed the setting up of the Peladang Outlet at Kampung Meruntum here, which he believed will indirectly contribute to the creation of more jobs and business opportunities for the farming community in Putatan.


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