Target to plant more kenaf

The kenaf plant is widely cultivated in Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. — Filepic

SETIU: The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry (KPPK) is targeting 1,000ha of kenaf cultivation in Terengganu by the end of the year.

Its minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the crop was currently being grown on over 391.6ha of land in Terengganu and he was optimistic that the target could be achieved as the state had more than 8,000 parcels of idle land.

“We hope to get young university graduates involved in the plantation sector.

“A massive campaign should be carried out to encourage them to venture into kenaf cultivation.

“They should be informed that the government has also provided grant allocations in terms of working capital (worth more than RM2,000 per hectare of crops), ” he said after presenting RM195,800 in assistance to the representatives of 249 Terengganu kenaf growers here.

The government, through the National Kenaf and Tobacco Board (LKTN) has allocated RM968,680 for 1,357 kenaf growers in Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan, and Terengganu as an initiative under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package to help those whose incomes were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

(Kenaf is a common wild plant of tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia and is a source of textile fiber for such products as rope, twine, bagging and rugs.)

Mohd Khairuddin said the demand for kenaf-based downstream products such as furniture (sofas and mattresses), personal care products and cosmetics was also encouraging.

“That is why we want young people to start planting kenaf immediately. In Setiu itself there is already a kenaf processing factory that uses ‘non-woven thermobonding’ technology which will facilitate optimal production levels.

“The government will also expand the campaign to manufacture kenaf-based products to small and medium industry entrepreneurs to meet the ever-increasing demand from consumers, ” he said.

LKTN chairman Dr Azman Ibrahim, who is also state agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development committee chairman, said suitable land had already been identified to cultivate kenaf.

“Kenaf is a short-term crop so any interested entrepreneur can grow it on idle land with the permission of the owner more easily.

“We are in the process of analysing all the issues related to this idle land and trying to achieve the target of growing 1000ha of kenaf in the next six months as KPPK has targeted, ” he said.

The classification of idle land in Terengganu is land owned by individuals or companies with an area of ​​more than 0.4ha which has not been developed for three consecutive years.

However, government land is not considered idle land. — Bernama

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