Sarawak, Putrajaya to collaborate on cash crop production

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub (left) calling on Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg in Kuching today.

KUCHING: The agriculture and agro-based industry ministry will work with the Sarawak government to introduce cash crops in the state.

Its minister Salahuddin Ayub said a special committee will be set up for the project, which aims to export cash crops to other countries.

He said the committee will decide on the types of crops to be planted.

“Mardi (Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute) will also be involved in soil profiling to determine which crops are suitable,” Salahuddin said after paying a courtesy call on Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg at his office here today.

He said the Sarawak government has approved about 800ha at Lingga in Sri Aman for the project after a request was made by Council of Eminent Persons chairman Daim Zainuddin.

“The Sarawak government will monitor the progress. I also understand that they will provide more land if the plan is a success,” he said.

Salahuddin described as incorrect a report that Sarawak is giving 600,000ha of unused land meant for palm oil to Putrajaya for cash crop cultivation.

Abang Johari also questioned the figure, saying 600,000ha is more than a million acres.

“How is it possible for us to give that much of land?” he asked.