Friday, December 2, 2011
Dr Ongkili: Prawn and swiftlet farming to benefit Kota Marudu
By DURIE RAINER FONG
KOTA KINABALU: Prawn rearing and swiftlet farming will hasten the transformation of Kota Marudu into a prime agricultural centre. The two high-yield industries — identified as strategic activities for the district under the National Key Economic Areas — would also see Kota Marudu turned into an economic hub, said Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili. He added that both lucrative activities would further complement other modern agricultural activities undertaken in the district, which included stevia (sweet herb) and vanilla cultivation.
“Efforts have been made to promote swiftlet farming as the district is conducive for the birds whose nests can fetch a very high price in the market.
“At the moment, 30 swiftlet hostels have been developed for commercial purposes while 43 projects have been carried out under the e-Kasih list of hardcore poor to generate income for poor rural folks. “With these activities, we hope Kota Marudu’s economic growth will be accelerated, aside from bringing the desirable outcomes of generating income and employment for the people,” said Dr Ongkili, who is also Kota Marudu MP.
Dr Ongkili commented on this at the launch of the district’s annual Pesta Jagung (Maize festival) recently.
Also present were Tandek assemblyman Anita Baranting and Banggi assemblyman Datuk Abdul Mijul Unaini.
The festival, in its 10th year now, is held annually to promote maize as one of the main crops in Kota Marudu and areas surrounding the district. It serves as an avenue to promote various modern technologies to enhance the cultivation of maize as well as other agricultural produce. Various activities carried out in conjunction with the two-day festival included the Ratu Jagung (Maize Queen) contest, stall exhibition by government and private agencies, and telematches like the tug–of–war for visitors.
Mosti is also taking part in the exhibition to showcase technologies developed by its agencies that could be useful for farmers. One such technology was the corn thrasher machine developed by Technology Park Malaysia.
Dr Ongkili, who was also Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia chairman, also presented 20 units of Idola laptops to the Kota Marudu Girl Guides Association.
Posted by asa at 6:38 AM