KUCHING, June 29 — The Sarawak government will roll out next year its master plan to make the hornbill state a net exporter of food by 2030.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the Agriculture Master Plan, under the state Ministry of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development, is part of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak government’s transformation agenda, which is also targeting to completely wipe out poverty within its borders and improve the quality of life of the rural communities.
“Under the master plan, we will be bringing in new technologies into the agriculture sector, getting more and more young people to get involved and using new business models,” he said at a joint Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya gathering attended by the ministry’s officers and staff here last night.
Uggah, who is also state agriculture modernisation, native land and regional development minister, said one of the challenges the ministry staff faces is to completely eradicate rural poverty.
He said that at present, Sarawak families in the interiors categorised as both poor and hardcore poor number about 60,000 out of the state population of 2.7 million.
He said Sarawak used to have a 60 per cent poverty rate in the 1970s, but has been drastically reduced due to the successful implementation of the poverty eradication programme.
“If we are successful in our tasks to transform the agriculture sector, we will bring changes to the lives of our farmers, eradicating poverty completely and making the state a net exporter of food and food products,” he said.
Present at the function were Uggah’s assistant ministers Datuk Roland Sagah and Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, deputy state secretary Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik and the ministry’s permanent secretary Awang Johari Awang Mustapha.