|Keropok Amplang Brings Good Returns
By Nashir Mansor
TAWAU, Aug 12 (Bernama) -- Rosma Norhayati Titing started producing and selling `keropok amplang' using the RM350 given by her mother after she finished secondary school nearly 20 years ago.
The craving for her keropok amplang, ball shaped crackers made from mackerel and shrimp fillet, was initially confined to Sabah but now it has travelled farther to Peninsula, Brunei and Singapore.
And Rosma, 39, can be proud of the fact that she is the biggest amplang maker in Tawau and earns up to RM20,000 monthly.
Her venture is located at Kampung Wakuba near here and she produces up to 80kg of keropok amplang daily.
"I started the venture immediately after leaving school. At that time I had nothing to do. So, rather than just sitting at home, I decided to make keropok amplang," she told Bernama when met during the Tawau Agro Entrepreneur Expo recently.
"At that time, I use to make keropok amplang under the house producing about 10kg daily," she said adding that most of it was sold to her friends and business was good especially during festive seasons.
Later, she received orders for her keropok amplang from retailers at the Tawau Main Market and since then her delicacy was much sought after by the retailers from all over Sabah.
"Coincidentally, through the keropok amplang trade, I met my husband who is from Beaufort (in Sabah's west coast) who at that time was one of my clients at Tawau Main Market," she said.
Rosma, with the assistance of her husband and 20 workers, is currently working hard to increase output and expand her production facility.
RECOGNISED BY MANY
Rosma is now being guided by the Agriculture Department, Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) and other relevant agencies to widen the market for her keropok amplang including Brunei and Singapore.
She has also diversified into other light snacks like the banana fritters and traditional pastries.
Through amplang, Rosma managed to win several state and national awards with the latest 2007 Light Snack Processing Award that she won during the national level Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen's Day celebrations held in Terengganu.
Moreover, Rosma was chosen for the second time to partake in the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture & Agrotourism Show (MAHA) 2008 in Serdang.
"Definitely this occasion would provide me the opportunity to widen the market for my keropok amplang," she said.
OTHER AMPLANG ENTREPRENEURS
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Tawau Agricultural Development Coordinating Committee Dr Abdul Rahim Awang noted that there were about 10 amplang producers in Tawau under the guidance of several agencies.
Currently, Tawau is the hub for amplang production in Sabah producing about 120 metric tonnes annually worth RM2.2 million, he said.