Minister of Industry and Primary Resources calls to step up production of rice and meat
Jerudong - The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato. Paduka Hj Bakar yesterday placed high emphasis on the importance of farming and fishing, as well as the role these industries play in national development.
Speaking prior to the launch of the Farmer and Fishermen's Day celebration at the BRIDEX Conference Hall in Jerudong, the minister noted that farmers here are able to meet 100 per cent of the local demand for meat and poultry, 86 per cent for vegetables and 25 per cent for fruit. As for the fishermen, they are able to meet 90 per cent of the nation's seafood demand.
With regard to rice and meat, the minister said the rate of production is quite low, and urged for the stepping up of efforts to increase production.
Farmers and fishermen were also deemed `partners in progress' in all aspects, including the guarantee of food security and the development of their respective industries.
The minister later spoke of the progress, in terms of gross output value, of these industries over the past two decades.
"Twenty years ago, the gross output value was estimated to be B$70 million and now it has reached up to $241 million. Of this figure, $140 million comes from livestock farming, $44 million from crops, and $57 million from the agrifoods industry.
"As for the fishing industry, the gross output value was around B$17 million two decades ago, and it has now climbed to $82 million, of which $72 million comes from the fishing industry, $3 million from the aquaculture industry, $6 million from the seafood processing industry, and $0.5 million from marine eco-tourism."
The minister also expressed his desire to observe the progress from different angles, including productivity and export performance.
The positive progress, according to the minister, is the result of 'strong partnership' with the government as facilitators of the advancement of the industries in the Sultanate. It has given the government confidence to formulate and subsequently implement plans and programmes to enhance the development of these industries.
Pehin Dato Hj Yahya also believes the government will inject efforts to support these industries by means of providing modern technologies; better input material; breeds and seeds of better quality; the best farming management practices; and other facilities to be implemented by these industries.
The minister also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to farmers and fishermen, regarding them as the main pillars in the development of the country's economy.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin