New food security hub in Segamat

SOME 1,200ha of land in Segamat will be gazetted as the Segamat Agricultural Valley, among Johor government’s efforts to turn the district into a national food security hub.

State agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development committee chairman Datuk Zahari Sarip said the Segamat District Office and Segamat Land and Mines Department had agreed on the matter and would send an official request to the state government for the land to be formally gazetted.Zahari says an official request will be sent to the state government for the land to be formally gazetted.Zahari says an official request will be sent to the state government for the land to be formally gazetted.

“Some of the lands were previously leased and the contracts had not been renewed. So we decided to gather all of it for our new agricultural land project.

“At the moment, we have identified 1,214ha of land that has not been affected by the recent flood, so we hope that the state government approves this,” he said.

The Agriculture Department plans to plant some of the core crops, including pineapples, coconuts, watermelons and herbs, said Zahari.

“We initially planned to divide the land among 30 farmers in Segamat, whereby each of them would have about 40ha of land to work on.

“But some of the applications that we received requested more than 40ha, which means we will not have 30 participants.

“However, the final decision and evaluation will be made by the Segamat District Office,” he elaborated.

Zahari, who is also Buloh Kasap assemblyman, hoped that the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) authorities would be able to look into the project and perhaps provide input on how to improve the Segamat Agricultural Valley.

“The recent flood has shed some light on what we can do to improve our district, especially the lives of people living in the area, so we hope that we can get everyone’s cooperation for this as the benefits will be reaped by all,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zahari said the Federal Government had allocated RM80mil to the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry for the Agriculture Disaster Fund.

“Any farmers who have been affected by the floods can apply for this aid through the Agriculture Department by filling out an application form and providing supporting documents such as photos of their damaged farms,” he said.

The Johor government, through the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa), also handed out food aid in 33 Orang Asli villages where 5,327 victims were affected by the floods, he said.

“The Malaysian Armed Forces have sent food aid too, via helicopter to two Orang Asli villages in Punan and Peta that were cut off due to the recent floods,” he added.

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Flood , Segamat Agricultural Valley , ECER


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