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‘Aligning agro-development with high-income economy goal’
Posted on : 19 Apr 2022  Source of News: Borneo Post
 


DATO Sri Dr Stephen Rundi is committed to achieving the goals of the Sarawak Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030), which is set towards making Sarawak a high-income economy by that year.

The Kemena assemblyman, who is the Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development (Manred) Minister, says one of the aims is for all agricultural activities – be they crops, livestock or fisheries – to be developed into an industry.

Another goal is to expedite the transformation of rural and regional developments, aimed at helping the state become a net food producer and exporter.

“The focus will also be on upgrading struggling rural subsistence farmers into becoming commercial producers, and increasing their productivity and income simultaneously.

“Rural farmers must adapt to the new technologies in farming, especially in processing and marketing, and to fully utilise their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.

“Additionally, Salcra (Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority) must also be strengthened to be financially independent.

“Whatever it does, it must make money. If it doesn’t, then don’t do it,” says Dr Rundi, adding that he has directed Salcra to review and recalibrate some of its activities, wherever and whenever necessary.

Moreover, he believes that Sarawak must move in full force into the supply chain, particularly downstream activities related to oil palm.

In this regard, the minister says he would also look at the feasibility of corporatisation with regard to management for better efficiency.

“I also will undertake initiatives meant to bring greater benefits to the participants, especially those from the rural communities; for instance, the Rural Agropreneur Programme,” he adds.

Dr Rundi says it is important to transform Sarawak in embracing the digital era, sustainable development, decarbonisation, and ‘New Economy’, so as to ensure economic prosperity, social inclusivity, and environmental sustainability, driven by data and innovations.

In the first 100 days as minister, Dr Rundi had tabled two bills in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly – the Sago and Nipah Development Board Bill and the Sarawak Rubber Industry Board Bill – which were both passed and will lead to the establishment of two new state agencies.

In improving Salcra, Dr Rundi has directed the agency to focus on its core business, which is oil palm and to be involved throughout its supply chain.

He also aims to increase Salcra’s productivity on par or above the with the adoption of relevant productivity improvement technology such as mechanisation and Internet of Things (IoT).

Dr Rundi hopes to ensure that Salcra would be able to provide good economic benefits to its participants as targeted under the PCDS 2030, particularly in increasing household income to RM6,000 per month and in expediting the issuance of land titles.

Administratively, Dr Rundi also regards the reappointment of Datu Edwin Abit as Manred’s permanent secretary as one of his achievements.

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