Oleh Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: The Rural Development Cooperative or better known as KPD received several exciting business propositions from the BIMP-Eaga Business Council (BEBC) among others offering technology to boost cash crop yields.
The BEBC team led by its national chairman Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed presented the proposals during a courtesy visit to the new KPD Chairman, Honorsius Datuk Alfred Bosuin and General Manager, Kalimin Sahadi earlier this week.
Accompanying Roselan were the KK District Chairman cum President of SME Association, NK Foo, Executive Secretary cum legal advisor, Junzuenn Basalan and Fahmie Abu Bakar, an agriculture expert who was specially flown in from Kuala Lumpur to give KPD a briefing on more specific plantings.
In his briefing, Fahmie told the KPD management team about the “cili padi”, a cash crop which always die after eight months.
But using an organic fertiliser called BIOJADI, the lifespan of the crops could be prolonged, hence increasing more yield.
BEBC happened to be the distributor of BIOJADI organic fertiliser.
Fahmie said that just by planting within the vicinity of the house compound, it can supplement their average household income by more than RM20,000 per harvest.
This could be best observed at Lahad Datu where the yield of cillis they have planted far exceeded the normal output standard.
BEBC also hoped that the planting of figs will be added to the families’ portfolio which will naturally upgrade the family income to one of the middle-income grouping.
BEBC also informed KPD that it is currently in talks with a China group where agriculture enthusiasts can be trained to use high-tech farming and integrated distribution system.
Meanwhile, Roselan said where land is so bountiful in Sabah, BEBC was still finding it hard to get from any Government body about 3,000 acres of land to start its Hybrid Napier plantation.
“We have an investor who is here and ready to pump in money amounting to RM95 million for the project. The Napier planting project will entail hiring of 250 workers with annual exports of 5,000 TEUs per annum,” he said.
Unfortunately, Roselan said that by 2019, BEBC will have to expand the search for land to Sarawak and try its luck there.
Briefing on the planting and export of Chrysanthemum, where the Agriculture Department of Indonesia has offered some technical support through BEBC, “we are glad to note that KPD had shown positive response by looking for suitable sites in Kundasang.”
During the meeting, KPD was also given some marketing and distribution advice from NK Foo.
“Our first exercise is to review the Moringga K production and stimulate discussions for China and rest of the world exports.
“BEBC is blessed with the expertise of Foo and we reckoned we are not a sleeping giant as what others has portrayed us to be,” said Roselan.
BEBC through Junzuenn Basalan will assist to plan marketing strategies for KPD exports of honey and bird nests, he said.
“On the whole, both KPD and BEBC were glad that the meeting finally did take place and we look forward to a more fruitful future together,” he said, adding it was the first time that BEBC and KPD had such a meeting since the inception of BIMP-Eaga.
Earlier, Honorsius was happy with the visit from BEBC as he expected the exchange and sharing of agricultural news and development programmes that have been carried out in the four countries namely Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
All these programmes were geared towards poverty eradication.-SabahNewsToday