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Help for cooperatives into farming: SKM
Published on: Friday, September 08, 2023
By: Winnie Kasmir
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Help for cooperatives into farming: SKM
Matias addressing participants at the programme.
SANDAKAN: The Malaysia Cooperative Societies Commission (SKM) is committed to helping cooperatives that venture into farming become more active and competitive.

Sabah SKM Director Matias Kundapin said 28 Sustainable Palm Growers’ Cooperatives (KPSM) are established in Sabah.

“KPSM is very helpful in reducing transport costs, obtaining higher market prices for fresh bunches and encouraging income generation and distribution of dividends to its members.

“KPSM’s active involvement has shown great potential in the plantation sector, especially in the momentum of increasing cooperative income in Sabah.

“In another approach, through KPSM, we can create a one-stop-centre, as a business hub that can benefit the community in rural areas,” he said.

Matias said this while officiating at the closing ceremony of the Plantation Sector Activity Network Strengthening Programme here.

The two-day programme aims to empower and strengthen the cooperative business structure or system in the plantation sector by delivering information from relevant agencies such as the Agriculture Department, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, the Malaysian Cocoa Board and cooperative partnerships.

In addition, Matias said this programme can create relationships and business networks through cooperation between cooperatives to improve cooperatives’ skills and knowledge in plantation activities.

“In addition, strengthen the cooperative business and ensure that the sector remains competitive with the application of the latest technology to help farming activities that also emphasise the aspect of sustainability and provide balanced benefits to all, including the ecosystem and biodiversity,” he said.

In addition, Matias also suggested cooperatives work with government agencies related to the plantation and agro-based sectors to enable plantation cooperatives to

venture into new fields such as biotechnology and herb-based enterprises.

“Who knows, with the involvement of cooperatives in the field, Malaysia can become a centre of excellence in the research and development of plantation technology and commodity-based industry,” he said.

Cooperatives that own land are also encouraged to develop the plantation sector through strategic collaboration or mergers with other successful plantation cooperatives.

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