The Sarawak government has approved an allocation of RM797 million for next year to strengthen agriculture development in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas (photo) said the allocation is meant for the implementation of various programmes and activities.
The programmes include the agriculture facilitation fund programme, Sarawak Reef Ball Project, and cash and equipment assistance for fishermen during monsoon season.
"Other than that the allocation is also for collection, processing, packaging centre in Serian, Betong, Lawas, Limbang, Samarahan and Miri and development projects for crops, fisheries and livestock," Uggah said.
He said this in his speech which was read out by assistant minister of modernisation of agriculture, native and regional development Abdul Rahman Ismail at the development research officers meeting 2019 here today.
Uggah said the state agriculture sector needs to be strengthened because it only contributes about 14 percent to Gross Domestic Product in 2018.
"We are also facing a food trade deficit of about RM3.8 billion in 2018.
"This is anticipated to increase to about RM6 billion in 2030 if we are still doing business as usual," he added.