14th November, 2011
KOTA MARUDU: The transformation of Kota Marudu into a strategic agricultural centre and an economic hub for northern Sabah will be accelerated with high-tech prawn rearing and swiftlet farming being identified as activities under the National Key Economic Areas for the district.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the two lucrative activities would complement further modern agricultural activities being undertaken in Kota Marudu which included stevia and vanilla cultivation.
“In Kota Marudu, efforts have been made to promote swiftlet farming as the district is conducive for the presence of swiftlets whose nests can fetch very high price in the market.
“So far, 30 swiftlet hostels have been developed for commercial purposes while 43 projects have been carried out under the e-Kasih list of hardcore poor to generate income for poor rural folks.
“With these activities, we hope Kota Marudu’s economic growth will be accelerated aside from bringing the desirable outcomes of generating income and employment for the people,” he said.
Ongkili, who is also Kota Marudu MP, said this when launching the district’s annual Pesta Jagung at the Community Hall, here yesterday.
Also present were Tandek assemblyman Anita Baranting and Banggi assemblyman Datuk Abdul Mijul Unaini.
Ongkili said that the Pesta Jagung, being held for the tenth year, which had been listed in the state’s tourism calendar of events was a good platform to promote maize as one of the main crops in Kota Marudu and its surrounding areas.
The festival serves as an avenue to promote various modern technologies to enhance the cultivation of maize, as well as other agricultural produce, he said.
Various activities carried out in conjunction with the two-day festival included the much-awaited Ratu Jagung contest, stall exhibition by government agencies and departments and the private sector, and activities for the people such as tug-of-war.
MOSTI is also taking part in the exhibition to showcase technologies developed by its agencies that could be useful for farmers. One such technology is the corn thrasher machine developed by Technology Park Malaysia.