Friday, November 6, 2009

Go commercial, make use of SCORE: Sikie

BINTULU: Those who want to carry out agricultural projects in Tatau have been urged to go commercial in order to generate greater income.

Kakus assemblyman John Sikie Tayai when making the call recently said in today’s world most people, especially those in business field, have to be competitive to succeed.

The same goes for local farmers who must be able to think outside the box and grab every opportunity in order to achieve greater success.

“To succeed in whatever we do, old approaches are not viable anymore. Thus finding new ways of doing business is important,” said Sikie.

They must wisely use all chances and opportunities provided by the government, particularly in the form of starting capital, training and other assistance, said Sikie.

He said as Tatau is within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), it actually has a very huge potential to be a major food producer.

Sikie pointed out that the roads connecting all areas within SCORE would pass through Tatau, which would benefit if it can get travellers and passers-by to shop for supplies and other goods.

“Many people will be using the roads and so small farmers in Tatau can promote their produce and agro-based products,” said Sikie when officiating at the launch of ‘Green Earth’ campaign at Tatau Agriculture Department office near here.

He said there was still plenty of time for those interested in farming in Tatau as the place is one of direct beneficiaries of SCORE.

He recommended tsrating small-panting vegetables, fruits; raising chickens, etc- and then gradually expanding and incorporating commercial methods to gain greater returns on their investements.

He observed that during festive seasons, for example, Tatau had insufficient supplies of meat and vegetables.

Thus, local farmers must make use of all available resources including cultivating crops on undeveloped land along the roadside.

A total of 500 local farmers were chosen to receive assistance in the form of vegetable seeds, fertilisers and chickens.

Under a similar scheme in 2008, some 489 persons in Tatau received the assistance.

For livestock farming, 60 participants were chosen; while each of the 25 farmers this year received 40 chicks, a bag of starter feed, two bags of grower feed, two bags if delicate corn, and sets of medicine.

Sikie advised the aid recipients to use what they received wisely for the long-term.

He reminded the farmers that the assistance was actually a starting capital or encouragement for them to start farming on their own.

Tatau agriculture officer, Awang Omar Awg Adek, who represented Bintulu Agriculture Department acting assistant director Musa Bahazim, said the programme which started last year had showed good results especially in making locals more aware of the importance of ‘green earth’.

Apart from promoting the green earth campaign, the participants can earn extra income by selling their products, said Omar, adding that research show that each household can save about RM10 to Rm20 per week if they plant their own vegetables.

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