Big boost for agri­cul­ture – Junz

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - FRONT PAGE -

KOTA KINABALU: Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Food In­dus­try Datuk Junz Wong praised State Bud­get 2019 as an­nounced by Chief Min­is­ter cum Fi­nance Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Pan­glima Hj Mohd. Shafie Ap­dal, for putting Agri­cul­ture and Food In­dus­try as one of the ma­jor de­vel­op­ment fo­cuses, with a to­tal al­lo­ca­tion of RM534.85 mil­lion to de­velop the sec­tor next year.

The min­is­ter ex­pressed his grate­ful­ness to the CM for em­pha­siz­ing on agri­cul­ture sec­tor de­vel­op­ment, and he (Junz) would make sure farm­ers, fish­er­men and all other tar­get groups would get max­i­mum ben­e­fit from this bud­get.

Junz said that de­spite chal­lenges re­sult­ing from the ban on tim­ber ex­ports and loss of much rev­enue, (the gov­ern­ment) still man­aged to take care of the peo­ple with a sur­plus bud­get.

“Un­der the lead­er­ship of Datuk Seri Shafie the gov­ern­ment pro­posed a to­tal ex­pen­di­ture al­lo­ca­tion of RM4.16 bil­lion next year against an es­ti­mated rev­enue of RM4.27 bil­lion. This would mean a sur­plus bud­get in­volv­ing a sum of RM105.32 mil­lion, which is im­por­tant to main­tain the state’s fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity,” he added.

“It shows Datuk Seri Shafie Ap­dal is the right one to head the fi­nan­cial port­fo­lio.”

The min­is­ter ap­plauded and wel­comed the state bud­get for next year which em­pha­sised on fur­ther de­vel­op­ing the main eco­nomic sec­tor such as agri­cul­ture, tourism and in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment.

He said the good news for rub­ber es­tate small­hold­ers was the al­lo­ca­tion of RM35.16 mil­lion to Sabah Rub­ber In­dus­try Board (LIGS) to man­age and im­ple­ment rub­ber de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes in year 2019.

“I’ll not let CM down as he has shown so much con­fi­dence in my min­istry, and has al­lo­cated such big amount to boost up the de­vel­op­ment in the state agri­cul­ture. I’ll do all my best to make sure it goes well,” he said.

The CM, cum Min­is­ter of Fi­nance in his 2019 Bud­get speech, read out a to­tal al­lo­ca­tion of RM534.85 mil­lion, of which RM142.89 mil­lion was al­lo­cated to the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture to con­tinue and up­lift its pro­grammes in Sabah.

With such al­lo­ca­tion, Junz re-em­pha­sised on CM’s fo­cus to in­crease food crop pro­duc­tion, es­pe­cially rice, fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Ac­cord­ing to the newly an­nounced state bud­get, the Sabah gov­ern­ment would also al­lo­cate RM19.24 mil­lion to man­age and im­ple­ment ru­ral agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes un­der the Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (KPD) in year 2019. RM34.81 mil­lion to the Fish­eries De­part­ment and RM12.9 mil­lion to Ko-Ne­layan in or­der to fur­ther en­hance the de­vel­op­ment of the fish­eries sec­tor.

Mean­while, RM68.09 mil­lion was al­lo­cated to the De­part­ment of Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices for the pur­pose of manag­ing and im­ple­ment­ing live­stock de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes and to pro­vide ve­teri­nary ser­vices.

The De­part­ment of Ir­ri­gation and Drainage (DID) plays an im­por­tant role in pro­vid­ing ir­ri­gation and drainage in­fra­struc­ture for agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly the cul­ti­va­tion of paddy and high­land veg­eta­bles. For this, the gov­ern­ment al­lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately RM3.01 mil­lion in year 2019, in ad­di­tion to the RM19.11 mil­lion of Fed­eral Re­im­bursables in the same year. This al­lo­ca­tion would be spent among oth­ers on mi­nor re­pair works on paddy fields and drainage plants in var­i­ous dis­tricts in Sabah; ir­ri­gation and drainage plants in Kota Be­lud and Kuala Penyu.

Junz

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