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BELURAN, May 10 -- The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) will increase its efforts to diversify agro-based economic activities in the rural areas in Sabah to boost the people’s incomes.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the crops which are currently in favour are fruit trees that can produce yields within a short time, are commercially viable and thus capable of providing good returns.
"I will ask the departments and agencies under MAFI to explore the potentials of agriculture-based economic activities so that the people in rural Sabah can enjoy faster and better returns and an increase in their incomes," he said in a statement today.
To this end, Ronald, who is also the Beluran member of Parliament, said the ministry had initiated the MD2 pineapple farming pilot project in Kampung Rungus near here in January last year.
A total of 26,000 pineapple plants were sowed and the plants started to bear fruits in April this year.
“We hope that the MD2 pineapple farming project in Kampung Rungus will encourage other entrepreneurs in the state to venture into pineapple cultivation," he said, adding that Sabah has a vast amount of fertile land that can be utilised for pineapple cultivation.
The minister said that pineapple is one of the fruits that is widely exported from the Peninsula and is well received at the international level.
Based on the fruit’s potential, Ronald said MAFI is in the midst of setting up the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM) in Sabah, with support from the state government.
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