Abang Johari (seated, third right) during the press conference.

KUCHING (Aug 18): The development of the coconut plantation industry in Sebuyau will help in increasing the household income of the people in the area, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

In saying this, he said the Sarawak government is currently working together with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to set up a lab in Sebuyau to monitor and modernise the agriculture industry in the area, particularly on coconut plantation.

“We are also developing a retaining wall (from Tambirat in Asajaya to Sebangan in Sebuyau) to protect from soil erosion as well as to avoid saltwater from coming inland,” he told reporters after visiting Chalet Sebuyau this afternoon.

Abang Johari said since the coastal area is rich in alluvial soil, it is very suitable for coconut plantations as well as certain vegetables.

As such, he added, Unimas will use this as its research centre where a new breed of coconut seedlings will be planted, as well as to produce natural fertilisers from biomass.

Such an effort will help increase the income of the people not only in Sebuyau, as well as those in Samarahan, Sadong Jaya, Asajaya, and parts of Lingga, he continued.

He said the land from Samarahan to Sebuyau has been identified for coconut plantation, while those from Lingga to Simanggang is for paddy cultivation.

“I’m not going to call them farmers. They are agri-preneurs as they will be utilising modern technology. If you are to describe them as farmers, meaning to say that they are still using ‘cangkul’ (hoe).

“With all these basic infrastructures, by the year 2030 we hope we are the net exporter of food not only for domestic consumption but also for export, and I think we are on the right track,” he said.