Published on: Friday, February 15, 2013
Kota Marudu: The Federal Government has given out RM8.5 million as incentives to 19,752 farmers in Kota Marudu last year, including repeat recipients, under various schemes to help them produce higher yield.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister and Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the incentives were given to assist farmers as Kota Marudu is one of the main agricultural centres in the state.
The incentives were given for two planting seasons and involve the Federal Government Paddy Fertilizer Scheme, Paddy Production Incentive Scheme (Agriculture Input), National Food Security Policy incentive scheme and Paddy Production Incentive Scheme (Field Ploughing) channeled through the Farmers Organisation Authority.
The annual incentives are in the form of fertilizers and weed, pest and disease control chemicals for paddy planting.
Speaking at the launch of the Tamu Peladang Kota Marudu at Pekan Tandek, near here today, Ongkili said agriculture continues to be the main economic activity for Kota Marudu and the incentives given were hoped to develop the sector further.
"This is part of the government's transformation effort and our initiative to lift Kota Marudu farmers out of the lower income bracket by 2015.
Such assistance and strategic programmes can only be delivered by the Barisan Nasional, which places rural folks as its top priority under the National Key Result Areas," he said.
There are about 7,000 farmers registered with the Agriculture Department in the district.
"The Tamu Peladang will give more space for farmers to sell their agricultural products and food," he said and urged farmers to find innovative ways to increase their yield and income, including utilising technologies and aid made available by the government.
The Kota Marudu Parliamentary Agriculture Development Council, which he chairs, also contributed 20 sets of camps, tables to display the agriculture produce and plastic chairs for the Tamu Peladang.
The council has also identified swiftlet farming as a conducive and lucrative business for Kota Marudu and had presented a swiftlet house each to four recipients - the Kota Marudu Youth Association, Kobera Association, Matunggong Toporoi Association and the Farmer Organisation Authority - to take up swiftlet farming.
Later, at a get-together with the people at Kg Marak Parak, he assured the rural people that real transformation and progress could only come from BN as seen through Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's sincerity.