Font: IncreaseFont: NormalFont: Decrease
The Official Website of
Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS)

Spaoh airport not a waste
Posted on : 19 Jul 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

BETONG: The short take-off and landing airport (STOLport) to be built in Bebuling, Spaoh is not a “glamour nor luxury” project, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

He said the RM108 million airport will further facilitate, expand, and strengthen the agriculture sector’s growth and enable produce from the area to reach a wider market.

“Spaoh is part of the huge Betong-Sarikei food basket area where the many activities and programmes are still being planned and fine-tuned. We need faster transport to bring the various products straight from the farms to domestic and foreign markets,” he said when declaring open the RM4.5 million Spaoh Agriculture Station near here yesterday.

“We are planning for the future. The newer farming group will definitely benefit.”

Uggah, who is also the Minister of Agriculture, was responding to critics, who questioned the state government’s decision to build the STOLport.

A second STOLport estimated at RM193.1 million will be built in Bukit Mabong, Tunoh in Kapit.

On a related matter, Uggah said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government’s plan to increase the monthly household income in the state from RM2,131 at present to RM4,000 is an achievable target.

“We have the land and our farmers and breeders are hard-working people.  It is for the government through the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development together with the Agriculture Department to help them through grants, planting materials, and modern and more superior technologies,” he said.

He said more agriculture parks would be created where lots would be rented out to landless farmers.

In addition, he said more collection, processing, and packaging centres (CPPC) would also established to help in the buying, processing, and marketing of agricultural products.

“We have now built 10 new agriculture stations statewide. They will be the place for farmers to seek guidance and assistance and new technologies.

“We will have green house units in them to demonstrate modern methods like fertigation and hydroponics,” he said.

Uggah said the government has also set aside RM265 million under the Agriculture Facilitation Fund (AFF) as additional assistance to farmers and breeders.

He stressed the AFF is on top of the ministry and department’s annual agricultural development budget.

“Through this fund we are helping farmers and breeders with fertiliser, planting materials, facilities, and technologies. We also use the fund to reach out to fishermen on their needs.

“So far only RM68 million had been spent to date,” he added.

Among those present were Saribas assemblyman Mohd Razi Sitam, Dr Richard Rapu — a political secretary to the Chief Minister, ministry permanent secretary Edwin Abit, and Agriculture Department director Dr Alvin Chai.

The Borneo Post, July 19, 2020