By ILONA ANDREW
KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB) has outlined several initiatives to further address poverty in Sabah by introducing 11 new programmes which will be implemented next year.
Its minister Datuk Ewon Benedick said various programmes have been introduced to address the issue such as MESEJ, Local Economic Improvement, Kampung Sejahtera, and Village Entrepreneurship.
“My ministry has planned to introduce new programmes that will be implemented next year such as the Rumah Sejahtera Rakyat (RSR), Alternative Rural Power Supply (BELBA), Alternative Rural Water Supply (BALBA), Additional Economic Activities (AET), Non-Commodity Agriculture MESEJ and Medium Scale Swiftlet Enterprise, and Village Entrepreneurship Guidance (PKD).
“Besides that, we will also be introducing programmes such as One District One Product (SDSP), Joint Collaboration with Other Ministries, Exposure Visit of MESEJ Participants, and establishing new MESEJ farms with food plants, and introducing Community-based Rural Tourism Centre,” he said in response to a supplementary question from Julita Mojungki (PBS-Matunggong) at the State Legislative Assembly on Monday.
According to Ewon, the village community is also involved in determining the priority of economic improvement projects, basic infrastructure projects at the village level through workshops held in the Kampung Sejahtera.
“My ministry also has programmes or courses that involve small rural entrepreneurs dedicated to improving production skills and skills in enterprise management as well as marketing skills.
“In addition, my ministry has also engaged entrepreneurs to participate in various exhibitions aimed at promoting their products, and developed skills workshops,” he explained.
He mentioned that in the period of 2018 to 2019, several achievements have been made by rural entrepreneurs under his ministry and that he and his officials also regularly visited rural areas in an effort to design and plan more targeted and effective poverty eradication programmes.