Hajiji wants MAFFI to prioritise the hard-core poor

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor has directed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Industry (MAFFI) to prioritise the hardcore poor in their action plans and programmes as part of the initiative to eradicate hardcore poverty in Sabah.


Speaking after his working visit to the ministry at Wisma Pertanian here today, Hajiji said that MAFFI must not forget the poor in their planning.

“As of May 18 this year, the number of hardcore poor households in Sabah has decreased to 8,699, according to eKasih data. I hope more initiatives under MAFFI will involve them. We want to ensure they are lifted out of severe poverty,” he said.

Based on briefings from four departments and four agencies under MAFFI, Hajiji said that existing plans are in place to drive the agriculture, fisheries, and food industries of Sabah forward.

Importantly, Hajiji said that the recently approved Sabah Rice and Rice Board (LPBS) must be implemented as soon as possible to increase Sabah’s food self-sufficiency level (SSL).

The Chief Minister wants government-related companies with unused land to be developed for agriculture, especially rice, as mandated by the State Cabinet.

He said that in this regard, MAFFI can provide assistance in providing the necessary resources.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister I/Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Industry Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan revealed that with the establishment of LPBS, the goal has been set to increase Sabah’s self-sufficiency level (SSL) to 65 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035.

Jeffrey said that his ministry is appointing 15 board members, including the chairman of LPBS.

The focus of LPBS is to increase rice yields from an average of 2.9 metric tonnes to seven metric tonnes per hectare by 2030, develop abandoned paddy fields to increase the area, and open up new paddy fields.

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