Quality infrastructure in 95% of rural areas by 2025, says minister

Rural Development Minister Rina Mohd Harun.

KOTA KINABALU: About 95% of the rural population, especially in Sabah, will enjoy quality and efficient basic infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water supply by 2025, Rural Development Minister Rina Mohd Harun said today.

She said the target was in line with the Rural Development Policy 2030.

She said infrastructure development needs to be strengthened as there are rural areas that are still missing out on quality basic amenities and it was also an important commitment to support the passion of rural entrepreneurs to expand their business to a wider market.

“The ministry recognises that in order to improve rural entrepreneurship, infrastructure facilities need to be made available.

“Therefore, in the Rural Development Policy 2030, we set the target that by 2025, basic facilities must be enjoyed by 95% of the rural population.

“We will seek to attract investors in rural areas to create employment opportunities that will drive development there. The internet access will also be strengthened so that rural entrepreneurs can do business online.

“The ministry has 191 rural community centres nationwide and their roles will be enhanced so that they can serve as a hub for villagers to send their products to market,” she told reporters after opening the Sabah zone’s Village Entrepreneur Carnival here.

Rina said the federal government had spent RM200.5 million up to July 31 this year on rural infrastructure projects in Sabah, including on roads, water and electricity supply as well as social amenities programmes.

It was part of the RM1.14 billion allocation provided to develop the infrastructure in Sabah this year, she said.

The entrepreneur carnival is being held for the first time in Sabah. It is aimed at attracting more rural entrepreneurs to promote their products directly to consumers.

The four-day event has attracted 350 rural entrepreneurs, 79% of whom are female entrepreneurs. The next carnival will be held in Putrajaya in October.