New crop zoning system to turn western Sabah into food hub

AVILA GERALDINE

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry has implemented a crop zoning system in the state in a bid to establish a food hub on Sabah’s west coast.

Its assistant minister, Datuk Sairin Karno, said the approach will ensure the cultivation of certain crops is selected based on the soil fertility and sustainability of chosen planting areas.

"Paddy planting, (for instance, is carried out) in areas where there are existing paddy fields, including ones that are restored. The main focus (for paddy planting) is Kota Belud.

"In the (north-western and eastern parts of the state) and all the coastal districts leading to Sipitang, we emphasise on Matag coconut and pandan cultivation, due to the high demand, as tourists visiting the state enjoy drinking coconut water," he told the state assembly.

He added that the Stesen Kelapa Menumbok is a government agency that produces the largest Matag and pandan crops in the country.

Sairin said this in respond to Limus Jury (BN-Kuala Penyu) on the Ministry's plans to make Sabah's west coast a food hub to meet the needs of the domestic food supply.

He added that fruit, coffee and ginger cultivation are the focus in the interiors, while high and low land vegetable cultivation are concentrated in Kundasang, Papar, Keningau, Sipitang, Penampang and Tuaran.