Sarawak cooperatives need to step up, making the state a major food hub

COOPERATIVE movements in Sarawak are urged to actively participate in the state government’s many initiatives to develop the Sarawak into becoming a global food production hub.

According to Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, cooperatives can help achieve this goal by investing in more commercial scale agriculture-based businesses.

Stressing that cooperatives should be more involved in projects that can bring huge multiplier impacts, Wan Junaidi pointed out that the 1,077 cooperatives in Sarawak managed to registerRM240.52 mil in revenue, with total assets valued at RM636.14 mil.

“In addressing food security issue, we need to start producing food locally to reduce dependency on imports. However, this may require huge capital, and that is why not many entrepreneurs are brave enough to venture into this,” he explained.

Therefore, it is imperative for cooperatives to step in and contribute their resources to venture into other strategic investments such as in commercial agro-based businesses.

Such investments are expected to bring significant benefits to the community by creating job opportunities, accelerating infrastructure development in Sarawak and other spillover effects.

Since the country have been too dependent on imported food items, the Santubong MP believes that it is high time for Malaysians to be more involved in food production, especially in halal food items for both the domestic and international market. – Apr 3, 2021

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