KUCHING, April 9 — The state government has allocated RM1.5 million to the state Agriculture Department to buy produce from farmers and fishermen whose livelihoods have been impacted by the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO).
“With the Covid-19 pandemic and enforcement of the MCO, our farmers and fishermen are facing problems selling their produce and catch.
“This has negatively impacted their incomes,” Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.
He said the RM1.5 million will be channelled by the Agriculture Department for distribution to respective areas of the Sarawak Farmers’ Organisation (SFO) to buy produce from the farmers and fishermen.
He said a sum of RM200,000 has already been allocated to FAMA (Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority) offices state-wide to buy the farmers’ produce and organise pasar tani (farmers’ markets).
Uggah, who is also the state Minister of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, urged affected farmers to approach the two organisations.
“In turn, these organisations will bring their produce and catch to the markets.
“As a matter of fact, farmers and fishermen in Betong, Samarahan, Meradong, Sibu, Limbang, Bintulu and Miri, among others, have already done so,” he said.
Uggah said the state government has also allocated a sum of RM600,000 to the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) to buy catch from fishermen.
He said farmers and fishermen are significant players in the food chain, when explaining why the state government is helping them.