JERANTUT: Travelling to Kampung Bantal, located in Hulu Tembeling, takes more than four hours by boat, depending on the water level of Sungai Tembeling.
The village, spread over 5sq km, is geographically isolated from the outside world but enjoys basic amenities like electricity and water, and serves as a transit point to the rural villages in the Hulu Tembeling sub district.
With a population of 500, it was isolated from the cyberworld until recently. Through the co-operation of the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Kampung Bantal now has access to the Internet.
Fama’s Information Technology Division director Nor Khairi Harun noted that through the setting up of an Information Centre in the village, Internet access has been established, allowing a two-way transfer of information.
The majority of the villagers in the Hulu Tembeling sub district are participants in Fama’s agricultural programmes.
“Fama’s participants are registered through e-pasartani and the data is available on Fama’s portal. Among the programmes offered, apart from e-agribusiness, is the e-farmcontract, e-co-operativecentre and others.
Bridging the divide
With the Information Centre, a new level of modernisation has arrived in the villages of Hulu Tembeling.
Now the people there can utilise information and communications technology (ICT).
This gives the residents in Kampung Bantal and the other nearby villages, such as Kampung Pagi, Kampung Kuala Sat, Kampung Gusai and Kampung Mat Daling, better access to the outside world.
“They can keep up with the latest developments, such as the latest market prices of agricultural products,” Nor Khairi said.
Most of the villagers are rubber smallholders, with the rest planting other crops and collecting jungle resources such as kayu gaharu (fragrant wood).
According to the Hulu Tembeling sub district penghulu (headman) Mohd Jamal Jahidin, Fama’s effort will help improve the income of the farmers here.
“Currently there are two orchards in Kampung Kuala Sat. “However, the fruit cannot be easily marketed outside due to a lack of information among the farmers here on marketing opportunities,” he said. — Bernama