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Measures taken to stabilise State’s food security: Hendrus 
Published on: Thursday, November 30, 2023
By: Ricardo Unto
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Measures taken to stabilise State’s food security: Hendrus 
“As of 2023, an area of 93 hectares involving 93 farmers has been successfully developed with cash crops such as ginger and yam as well as lowland and highland vegetables,” Hendrus said.
THE Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Ministry has taken various measures under its departments and agencies to stabilise the State’s food security.

Its Assistant Minister, Datuk Hendrus Anding, said the Sabah Agriculture Department had drafted a short-term action plan.

Among the initiatives taken were the continuous adoption of agro-technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), automation and mechanisation.

He said the latest agro-technology was also used in the existing projects.

This includes applying intelligent agricultural systems, encompassing farm operations, such as watering, fertilising, disease or pest control, and plant and soil conditions using mobile phone applications. 

“The Agriculture Department provides a food crop development package programme that includes the provision of plant material incentives, area preparation, agricultural inputs, and farm equipment worth an estimated RM8,000 to RM10,000 per hectare as well as basic infrastructure such as farm roads, drainage, storage facility and produce collection centres.

“As of 2023, an area of 93 hectares involving 93 farmers has been successfully developed with cash crops such as ginger and yam as well as lowland and highland vegetables,” he said in response to a question by Tungku assemblyman Assaffal P Alian, at the State Legislative Assembly sitting, here, Tuesday.

The Department, he said, also maintains active 24,000-hectare rice paddy fields with an estimated total production of 82,500 metric tons of padi.

“The padi farming development involves incentives for ploughing subsidies of RM494 per hectare, the provision of agricultural inputs through the Farmers’ Association (LPP) worth RM1,307.20 per hectare, rice sales price subsidies from Bernas worth RM500 per ton.

“The Department also has a programme to provide NPK Green and NPK Blue fertiliser incentives worth RM600 per hectare for long-term crops within three years to increase productivity.”

He also said the department’s use of high-yielding varieties (HYVs) has also increased. 

Among the measures the Sabah Fisheries Department took were providing assistance and subsidies to fishermen.

“To encourage more Sabahans, especially the youth, to venture into aquaculture, the Fisheries Department also provides human capital development programmes through marine or freshwater aquaculture courses and training, technical exposure programmes, field technical demonstrations and training,” he said.

As for the long-term action plan, the Agriculture Department has established food production focus zones and the development of permanent food production parks (TKPM), such as the premium padi production cluster in the 174-hectare Ulu Bole TKPM, 1,300-hectare in Buayan, and 2,800-hectare in Kampung Long Pasia.

“The coconut recovery programme is also conducted by re-planting and recovering abandoned coconuts to increase the productivity of 15,000 hectares in the State.”

The Department, he said, is also developing Sabah as an avocado hub with the aim of 1,000 hectares in Tenom, Keningau, Tawau and Sandakan by 2030.

“To date, the State has a 143-hectare of avocado farms, the largest in Malaysia,” he said. Aside from that, the downstream industry and the collaboration with the private sector are also strengthened. 

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