The Malaysian state of Sabah, located on the northern portion of Borneo, hopes to push ahead with pineapple production by working on a new strategy with the Federal Government.
Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, said that the state Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry will form a strategic collaboration with its federal counterpart, the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry (MAFI), to develop the pineapple industry in Sabah into a major regional supplier.
According to Jeffrey, the collaboration will see representatives from both ministries form a committee to help strategize ways to increase the productivity of the pineapple industry in Sabah: “Currently, the industry only produces less than RM 200 million worth of pineapples per year. With this collaboration, we hope to increase the acreage to 4,100 ha in five years with a production value of RM 643 million. This would also increase our participants’ monthly income to an average of RM 8,900, and the industry is expected to provide 26,000 jobs to the locals.”
According to thestar.com.my, Jeffrey said the collaboration was necessary because Sabah cannot afford to fall behind in the growing food market, such as pineapple. “This decision was made after careful consideration of the sensitivity of the issue. Agriculture falls under the state list, and we will defend this right. In fact, Sabah has already decided to set up its own Sabah Pineapple Industry Board soon to protect our interests, but it does not mean we cannot cooperate with the Federal Government on this.”
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