KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is expected to remain as one of the main contributors of national fisheries products, said state Agriculture and Food Industry minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin.
"Based on the national agrofood policy, the demand for fisheries products is expected to increase from 1.3 million tonne in 2010 to 1.9 million ton in 2020.
"The fisheries sector in Sabah has also achieved full self-sufficiency. Between 2012 and 2016, the balance of trade for fisheries has also shown higher export which shows that fishing activities contribute to economic growth in Sabah," he said when winding up his speech at the 14th State Assembly sitting here.
Yahya said in terms of food safety, his ministry managed to ensure that the agricultural sector is free from diseases that could be brought into the country through prevention and disease control measures at 18 entry points in the state.
Besides that, the accreditation of farms with myGAP and myOrganic certifications helped ensure farmers adopt good practices.
As for livestock, the government has approved RM15.48 million for the next year’s budget to encourage breeders to produce more food to achieve self-sufficiency and reduce imports.
Yahya, who is also state deputy chief minister, said the state Drainage and Irrigation department has spent RM5.3million out of the approved RM21.5 million to carry out works in Kota Belud, Ranau, Keningau and Kuala Penyu.
"The project (works) will increase rice production to 8 metric tonne per hectare for a 5000-hectare field.
"At this juncture, the existing rice field of 35,600 hectare can only produce between 80,000 and 100,000 tonne of paddy annually, which is equivalent to 30 per cent of self-sufficiency," he said, adding that the ministry is targeting to double the percentage by 2026.