Sarawak agriculture station concept to be reviewed — Douglas Uggah

KUCHING: Sarawak will review the concept of all its agriculture stations to ensure that these facilities remain relevant and in line with the objective of modernising the sector, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

To achieve this objective, there is a need to have agriculture stations of at least 40ha each to include demonstration areas for farmers to learn modern methods, said Uggah, who is also State Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Lands and Regional Development.

He said many of the existing centres are not big enough to effectively serve their purpose.

“We would also review our agriculture extension programme. To me, the programme is still very important to impart knowledge and advice and provide training to our farmers,” he said in a statement today.

According to him, the extension programme in Sarawak is now taking a back seat although advanced agricultural countries like Taiwan and Thailand are using it as an important component of modern farming.

“We (also) want to mobilise the smallholders. We want (the state’s farmers and breeders) to plant or breed more, so that we can export and not being an importer all the time. I know this is going to be very challenging and I need all the assistance and feedback (I can get) from all elected representatives,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uggah said the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) had affected the implementation of the state’s Agricultural Facilitation Fund (AFF) projects, and he wanted them to proceed during this Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

“We need to catch up and I hope they can be implemented by end of this month,” he added.