The Sarawak government is contemplating developing an agro park in Marudi to cater to rising needs and to modernise the agricultural infrastructure and industry in the interior.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the proposal for the construction of the agro park was made by Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, who is also Marudi assemblyman.
He explained that such a move should be able to fulfil the demand of the rural population in the area and provide more opportunities for them to further develop the agricultural industry.
"I will forward this application to the Chief Minister for consideration as soon as possible. What we need now is to identify the location for the agro park - either on state land or native customary rights (NCR) land.
"If it is NCR land, maybe we have to pay rent," he said when officiating at the closing of Baram Agrofest 2019 at Marudi Town Square yesterday.
Uggah emphasised that agro parks are a new strategy implemented by the government to encourage participation in agriculture activities, especially among youths, by providing land and modern technologies.
He disclosed that under the leadership of Abang Johari, two agro park projects have so far been approved - in Sarikei and Kota Samarahan.
Penguang, in his speech, expressed his hope that the Land and Survey Department would be able to identify a suitable piece of land in Marudi to build the agro park. He also requested for Uggah to consider building collection centres for agricultural and livestock products in Marudi and in Beluru.
Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said once the agro park is built, the Sarawak government will also look at building of collection, processing and packaging centres (CPPC) so that whatever produce that the people in Marudi and Beluru have can be properly processed and packed.
"Our objective is to make Sarawak a net exporter of food products by 2030. So, we have to prepare the products so that they will meet international standards and requirements.
"That is why we need the CPPC. It is so that we can work out things with proper management and packaging," said Uggah, adding that they have welcomed proposals for CPPCs in the Baram parliamentary constituency, with the first to be located in Long Lama.
"We are studying the request (for CPPCs) for Marudi and Beluru," he added.
On Baram Agrofest 2019, Uggah said Sarawak will fully utilise modern technologies to accelerate the process of transforming the agricultural sector in the state.
"I hope soon there will be more products from Baram which can be exported to overseas markets."
Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, Baram MP Anyi Ngau, Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau were among those present at the event.