FIVE-FIGURE INCOME, NEW TECHNOLOGY CAN ATTRACT YOUNG SARAWAKIANS TO AGRICULTURE – SIRAI

Enjoying a five-figure income using new methods like drones can be one of the approaches to attract the younger generation to venture into the agriculture sector in Sarawak.

In saying this, State Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Permanent Secretary, Sirai Daha said young Sarawakians need to be involved in the sector to achieve the state’s aspiration of becoming a food exporter by 2030.

“Make it more attractive such as using drones in agriculture…or car like (agricultural) machine which make them feel more handsome when using it,” he said when opening an Agriculture Department Senior Officers' Conference here today.

He said many of the young ones are shying away from the sector as they feel it is a hard and difficult process to venture into, and there is also misinformation about income that can be generated from the source.

According to him, turning agriculture into a business activity, is not only limited to upstream activities or production of raw material, but also downstream activities such as food processing that can generate additional income.

Sirai said the refusal of some successful farmers to divulge their real income, in spite of enjoying a nett monthly income of between RM9,000 and RM20,000 after participating in government-initiated projects, has also become an obstacle to attract the young generation to venture into agriculture.

“They (the farmers) normally say 'cukup makan' (their incomes were meagre) and (they are) saying this because they want to continuously receive cash aide or assistance from the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, when met later he said a study would be initiated by the ministry on the feasibility to establish a 40,000-hectare area between Ngemah in Kanowit and Song in Kapit as a Dabai Belt for Sarawak.

He added that the study to make the area known for wide-scale production of dabai, a Sarawak indigenous seasonal fruit, would commence as early as August this year and completed in six months.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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