Sabah has the potential to develop industries with high returns such as agriculture, said the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju).
Chief executive officer Md Silmi Abd Rahman said there are many resources that can be utilised in the state, such as fertile land and a skilled workforce.
“The 10-year Bumiputera Development Action Plan 2030 that Teraju has developed, which include agricultural and commodity industries, is expected to be able to achieve a gross operating surplus of RM25.06 billion by year 2030.
“Accordingly, the Bumiputera entrepreneurs of Sabah need to seize this opportunity,” he said when speaking at the launch of the Sustainable Community Ferti-Chilipreneur Programme here on Tuesday (Sept 6).
Md Silmi added that there were eight projects that had been carried out in Sabah under the Bumiputera Business Development Fund, with RM52.5 million allocated from 2016 to 2021.
Among the agricultural projects involved are crayfish, oyster and seaweed farming, he said.
Commenting on the Ferti-Chilipreneur Programme, Md Silmi said it was based on the concept of smart farming in fertigation crops and implemented on a 40.4-hectare land belonging to Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Tawau Campus in Balung.
“It involves 120 young participants from the B40 group, including unemployed graduates.
"With a large land, this project can achieve a chilli crop production of 672 tonnes a year, with sales revenue of around RM3.2 million in two to three harvests a year, while guaranteeing a minimum average monthly income of RM2,300 a month,” he said.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, when met after the launch ceremony, said the joint venture between UiTM and Teraju on the chilli plantation project or capsicum annuum has a big impact on Sabah in helping reduce the poverty rate in the state.
“Thank you, UiTM and Teraju for giving opportunities, not only to graduates but also to the less able, to help increase the people’s source of income,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement regarding his visit to Pulau Sebatik earlier, Hajiji said the state government agreed in principle to expand the Aquaculture Industrial Zone to allow a larger area to develop seaweed farming in the waters of Burst-Point Sebatik.
“The Burst-Point water area, adjacent to the waters of Nunukan, Indonesia, was found to be suitable to develop high-quality seaweed farming, and the move can empower the living standards of local residents in the area involved,” he said.
The chief minister also said that in the first six months of this year, 314 tonnes of seaweed were produced in the state, which gave RM2.4 million in revenue.