Date & Time: 2018-10-20 03:25:02
KUCHING: Sarawak will leverage on modern technology to transform its agriculture sector in line with its aspiration to become a nett exporter of food by 2030. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas said the agriculture sector would need continuous effort to identify effective policies, development strategies and approaches in line with the transformation initiatives of the Sarawak government. “Agriculture is one of key sectors in the transformation of Sarawak’s economy, and plays an important role in alleviating poverty, and uplifting the livelihood of the rural communities. Thus, there is a continuing need to significantly boost the growth of this sector,” said Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land Development and Regional Development, yesterday. He said this during a press conference to announce Sarawak Agrofest 2018, and an international conference on Agricultural and Agro-based Industry Sarawak (ICAAS) to be held from Oct 20 – 28, and from Oct 23 – 24, respectively, at Penview Convention Centre in Demak, here. According to Uggah, who was represented by Assistant Minister of Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah at the conference, the agriculture sector contributed 13. 3 per cent of Sarawak’s gross domestic product (GDP) worth RM15 billion, last year. Uggah said both events were related to further development and transformation of Sarawak’s agriculture sector. Both are events supported by Sarawak government, through the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land Development and Regional Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of State Veterinary Services, and Sarawak Development Institute (SDI), among others. He added that Sarawak Agrofest would help to promote Sarawak’s agricultural produce and agro-based products, smart, and modern commercial farming, business and investment opportunities in agriculture, and business matching session. “ICAAS meanwhile is a fitting platform for the sharing of knowledge and experience on new approaches and mechanisms that have been proven to be successful in other parts of the country and other countries, which can be applied in Sarawak,” Uggah said. He went on to say that ICAAS is expected to draw 1,500 delegates from local and international agriculture and agribusiness sector, academic and research institutions, and the public sector from the Asean region in particular. “ICAAS will highlight current issues, challenges, trends, opportunities and the way forward in agriculture and agro-based industry for Sarawak.” The ministry’s permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, DOA acting director Dr Alvin Chai, director of Department of State Veterinary Services Dr Sajem Jinin, the ministry’s head of commercialisation of agriculture division Dr Gluma Saban, and SDI chief executive officer Lelia Sim Ah Hua were among those present at the function.