KUALA TERENGGANU, Aug 11 — The Terengganu government has placed 51 units of artificial reef made of concrete in state waters involving an allocation of RM1 million from 2018 to 2020, to address poverty problems faced by Zone A coastal fishermen.
State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Azman Ibrahim said that apart from that, a total of 245 units of Unjang (traditional artificial reef) were also placed, involving an allocation of RM190,000.
“The effectiveness of both types of artificial reef is evidenced by the increase in catch as reported by the Department of Statistics Malaysia on the Terengganu socio-economic report last year, among others, which stated that the agricultural sector recorded a growth of six per cent compared with -2.5 per cent in 2018. This among others was contributed to by an increase in marine catch,” he said at the State Legislative Assembly sitting at Wisma Darul Iman, here today.
He said this in his reply to a question from Roslee Daud (BN-Bukit Besi) who wanted to know about programmes implemented by the state government to address poverty among fishermen.
In the meantime, he said that the state government together with the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) will also implement the Fishermen Resettlement Project (PSN) by the end of this year, involving three projects, namely, in Benting Lintang in Besut; Seberang Penarik in Setiu and Pulau Skepeng in Kemaman.
“The construction of 150 houses including infrastructure facilities, costing RM34 million, of which RM13 million is from the federal government while the remaining 21 million is from the state government,” he said.
He added that the state government has also set up a Sampan Fishermen Licence Issue Action Committee to resolve the issue of 800 boats belonging to Terengganu coastal fishermen who have yet to receive a licence.
“The is an outdated issue as many fishermen who have been to the sea from a young age are still not given a licence. Without a licence they are not eligible to receive subsistence allowance, petrol subsidy, disaster assistance and various other facilities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Azman said various efforts had been made by the state government to engage young people in the agricultural sector, among others, by providing a capital assistance scheme to provide loan facilities of up to RM50,000.
He said that as at July, a total of 243 participants, including young farmers, had received the benefits of the scheme involving an allocation of RM5.8 million.
“The state government is also targeting 290 hectares of idle land in the state which is suitable for agriculture projects, especially for the young generation, by 2021,” he said.
He said this in his reply to a question by Datuk Muhammad Pehimi Yusof (BN-Jertih) who wanted to know about the state government programmes for 2021 to encourage young people to participate in agriculture. — Bernama