KOTA KINABALU: The Agricultural Products Collection Centre (APCC) in Sabah's northern Kota Marudu is set to assist rural farmers sell their products to larger markets.
The APCC operated by the state's Rural Development Corporation (KPD) was officially opened at Kampung Damai in the Kota Marudu district by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
The centre is part of KPD’s long-term plan to develop six such APCCs throughout Sabah at a cost of RM13.2mil.
The other two completed APCCs are in Kundasang and Beaufort while three more are nearing completion in Keningau, Lahad Datuk and Telupid.
Kitingan, who is state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, said that the continued efforts by KPD to set up the centres will assist farmers in the rural regions sell their products to larger markets.
“While farmers have no trouble producing agricultural products, they frequently lack a market, owing to saturated local marketplaces. They are frequently forced to cut their prices in order to move their stocks.
“APCCs will aid in eliminating the problem since farmers who have registered with the centres can always earn fair prices for their products through the KPD Smart Marketing integrated system to connect APCCs with potential buyers and companies who can bid for the products," he said when opening the Kota Marudu APCC on Friday (Aug 12).
He said the KPD’s effort to set up APCC would help boost the rural farming community.
Currently, agricultural activities in the districts of Pitas, Kudat, Kota Belud and Kota Marudu in northern Sabah produce a variety of high-value commodities such as honey, Saba bananas, sweet potatoes, peanuts, yellow pumpkins, ginger, sweet corns, waxy corn, swiftlets’ nests and various types of seafood products.
The APCC Kota Marudu currently has just 249 registered agropreneurs but KPD anticipates that more will register following the official opening ceremony.
The centre includes collection rooms, grading, cold storage, packaging and transportation of agricultural products, among other services.
The marketing system, KPD Smart, will also allow KPD to keep digital records of all agricultural activities of their participants and manage supplies to match current and future demands, reducing the risk of market product gluts.
“Since its inception, KPD has repeatedly proven itself to be the best partner of our local farming community, offering important and relevant services to the people of Sabah," Kitingan said.