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Hill paddy granary can free Tongod from hardcore poverty: YB
Published on: Friday, June 07, 2024
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Hill paddy granary can free Tongod from hardcore poverty: YB
Masiung said, the Government could develop the paddy-based food industry in the district and owners of abandoned land as well as related agencies were prepared to collaborate with the Government to realise that objective. - Bernama pic for illustration only
TONGOD: The development of a hill paddy granary in Tongod is an initiative that has a big potential to be a catalyst in efforts to free the district from hardcore poverty, said Kuamut Assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah.

With this, he said, the Government could develop the paddy-based food industry in the district and owners of abandoned land as well as related agencies were prepared to collaborate with the Government to realise that objective.

He said the efforts were also in line with the goals of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who wants Sabah to prioritise those classified as extremely poor in initiatives involving agriculture, fisheries and the food industry to help them get out of hardcore poverty.

“Based on the land area in Tongod, if it is developed with the assistance of the Government, it could become a food producer in the State.

Besides hill paddy, Tongod also has a huge potential for freshwater fish farming projects based on river water sources.

“Currently, the hill paddy produced by the people using traditional methods contributes only to their economic resources, but I believe that if help is provided to create paddy granary, there will be a bigger capacity of paddy produced and that boost the state’s paddy supply,” he said, Thursday. 

On Tuesday (June 4), Hajiji was reported to have instructed the Sabah Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Ministry (Maffi) to prioritise the hardcore poor in their action plans and programmes as part of initiatives to eradicate hardcore poverty in the State.

In March, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli was reported to have said that the rate of hardcore poverty in Sabah stood at 1.2 per cent or six times that of the national rate of 0.2 per cent. 

Rafizi said the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2022 report showed the rate of hardcore poverty in eight Sabah districts exceeded the national rate, with Tongod (at 5.9pc) being the highest.

Masiung said the collaboration between the people and Maffi and the Sabah Rice and Paddy Board (LPBS) is also seen to have the potential to take Tongod out of hardcore poverty by implementing various paddy-related initiatives and food production.

As such, he said the people in the area are ready to collaborate to create an integrated hill paddy crop in Tongod to cover the decline in paddy production in recent times.

“This can be done… just have to emulate the initiative in Sarawak which has managed to penetrate the markets in Sabah, Brunei and the peninsula. If paddy is widely cultivated then the rate of poverty among the people in the district can be overcome,” he said.

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Keywords:
hill paddy





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