The state government will soon hold an in-depth discussion with the East Coast Economic Region Development Council about setting up a collection hub for agricultural products in Segamat.
State agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development committee chairman Datuk Zahari Sarip said the council had earlier proposed such a hub.
“The state already has plans to set up a similar collection hub in Desaru, Johor, to assist small-scale farmers with their products.
“We cannot just have one in south Johor as we need another hub in the central and northern regions of the state,” he said.
Zahari, who is also Buloh Kasap assemblyman, added that a collection hub in Segamat was beneficial as farmers in Jementah produce and supply high quality fruits like durian and pomelo to various parts of the country.
He also urged local farmers to organise more events to promote local fruits.
“In the past, large-scale programmes successfully brought tourists into the area while spreading awareness about Segamat’s high quality fruits.
“I will support the agricultural associations and work with farmers to organise such events if needed,” he added.
Johor Fruit Farmers’ Association deputy chairman Tang Han Boon welcomed the setting up of a collection hub for agricultural products as it could boost Segamat’s reputation.
“It can also help smallholders with their sales at the same time.
“Jementah is well-known for producing delicious durian and the pomeloes from local farms mostly go to the Singapore market,” he said.
Tang added that the state government should also look into assisting local farmers, especially smallholders, in applying for incentives like fertiliser subsidies.
“There is a significant number of small-scale farmers not only in Segamat but also other parts of the state. They are suffering from high operational costs because of the increase in fertiliser and pesticide prices.
“Many smallholders are not familiar with government agencies or the application process.
“They hope the relevant authorities can be more proactive by setting up mobile counters to ease the application process,” he added.