KOTA KINABALU: Given the change of trend where people opt for more sustainable lifestyle, coconut could make a good comeback and contribute to national revenue, said Institute for Development Studies chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Yaakub Johari.
“The coconut industry in Malaysia can be considered as one of the new emerging industrial crops that could bring a significant impact to the country’s economy.
“Sabah is highly encouraged to cultivate coconut commercially to meet the needs of the crop-based products locally and abroad, in line with the Halatuju Sabah Maju Jaya,” he said during a discussion on the potential commidity here recently.
IDS’ Development Planning Consultative Committee member Datuk Dr. Idrus Shafie said the diversification of coconut products produced by the agriculture producers will enhance the state’s exports, bringing in additional national revenue.
“To enhance the competitiveness of the coconut industry, the private and public sectors must work together to discuss common problems and implement solutions collectively,” he added.
Two paper presentations which were Halatuju Pertanian Tanaman Makanan (SMJ) Negeri Sabah by Mr. Mohd. Fauzi Abd. Gulam, Agriculture Officer from the Department of Agriculture, and Linaco Investment in Coconut Insdutry in Sabah by Mr. David Yapp, Executive Assistant to Group Manager from Linaco Resources Sdn. Bhd.
During the discussion, several pertinent issues and challenges were brought up by the participants, mainly issues regarding seedling production, good agronomic practices and farm management especially within small holders and rural farmers.
The group came to an agreement that the government, private sectors, small holders and rural farmers should take aggressive measures to ensure the coconut industry flourish and emerge as a golden fruit of Sabah, hence an urgent need to invest in innovative technologies to increase coconut production.