MPIC, Sabah to develop agri-commodity sector

by BERNAMA

THE Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) and Sabah state government have agreed to jointly develop and empower the state’s agri-commodity industry, in particular, the upstream sector involving bamboo, cocoa, rubber and palm. 

Its minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the goal is to restore Sabah’s status as a superior cocoa producer.

“Both parties will engage in an integrated approach to increase the size of the cocoa plantations,” he said in a statement today following a courtesy call on Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor in Kota Kinabalu on April 5, 2021. 

He said the endeavour would potentially help improve the livelihood of the locals especially in light of the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the bamboo sector, for instance, he said Sabah will provide the land, managed by one of the state government subsidiaries, while the role of MPIC will be to match relevant private companies at the downstream level to complete the commodity market cycle.

Correspondent with the number of rubber farmers in Sabah, Mohd Khairuddin said the parties have reached a consensus whereby the Rubber Industries Transformation Project would be expanded to Sabah specifically for the production of crepe rubber. 

He said an understanding to empower the promotion of forest conservation and sustainability through the Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation under the ministry’s agency, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) had also been reached.

“Several significant programmes have been and are being undertaken, including the Sabah Orang Utan Population Inventory, planting one million trees in Lower Kawag which is part of the Ulu Segama Malua Forest Reserves, and the Borneo Elephant Wildlife Sanctuary Project.

“These will be further strengthened with new and ongoing activities. MPIC hopes the close cooperation with the Sabah state government will boost economic activities in the country’s agricommodity sector consistent with efforts to conserve the country’s flora and fauna,” he said.