KOTA KINABALU: Agricultural entrepreneurs must develop more environmentally friendly products in line with the government’s policy to promote good agricultural practices in Sabah, says Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
The Deputy Chief Minister said products such as organic pest control would reduce the use of chemical pesticides.
“The use of chemical pesticides has been proven to be dangerous not only to the health of consumers, but also to the soil in the long run,” he said when speaking at the virtual launch of Farm Tokou Saturday (July 31).
Farm Tokou, a private company established in 2018, produces organic vegetables and freshwater lobsters as well as providing agricultural and livestock farming input in Sabah.
Kitingan, who is state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, said sustainable farming by startups such as Farm Tokou would inspire young people in Sabah to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities in the agricultural sector and other local industries.
“The government has provided a variety of incentives to encourage agropreneurs to contribute their ideas and efforts in order to help take our agricultural industry to the next level.
“Among these is the Bantuan Agropreneur Muda programme run by the federal Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry, which provides eligible agropreneurs with a monetary grant of up to RM20,000 seed money.
“The scope also includes agro-tourism, support, and logistics, which I believe we in Sabah can benefit from.
“I strongly encourage our Sabahan youths to apply for this grant and other grants provided by the government to assist them with their businesses,” he said.