Dr Jerip Envisions Co-operatives Development For Bengoh
April 25, 2011
KUCHING: Bengoh assemblyman Dr Jerip Susil has proposed for the setting up of village co-operatives among the people in his area of constituency to promote better collaboration in promoting their products while gaining assistance from various government agencies.
He advised villagers to work together and establishing their business products first, he stated that by involving themselves with a co-operative, the entrepreneurs would be able to enjoy more governmental benefits especially in marketing of products and production aid.
“Setting up of co-operatives would give a sense of responsibilities for the people to work together under one entity. We are targeting every village in Bengoh to have co-operatives and ensuring every family to be involved.
“Part of it is to promote every family to come up with their own products. It can be anything. Kuih-lapis (layered cakes), chicken rearing, homestays, goat farming, small holding agriculture activities and handicrafts, using co-operatives would help improve economic activities and spur income growth,” he told reporters when met at his appreciation dinner at a restaurant at Mile 11, Kuching-Serian road here on Saturday.
The dinner was held to celebrate his victory in the just-concluded state election where Dr Jerip successfully defended his seat in a four-cornered fight with a majority of 3,646 votes.
Some 400 Bengoh Barisan Nasional (BN) party members, family and friends attended the dinner.
Elaborating on his next phase of planning, Dr Jerip mentioned that the first step was to allow the people land titles which would be an asset for the community.
He highlighted that he is currently working with various agencies (including the Land and Survey Department) to help the people to document their land.
The next step in the planning was to bring in various government agencies such as the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama), the Sarawak Pepper Board and Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) among others and including the private sectors to raise awareness among the people on how to fully utilise their land.
“These agencies along with the private sectors could help to promote commercial farming such as chicken rearing, goat farming and other small scale activities such as smallholding oil palm and rubber plantation.
“However, such plantation has to be a smallholder’s concept because Bengoh is a water catchment area. Cluster farming would help the people to find ways on improving their farming,” explained Dr Jerip.
In addition, he was looking into ways for the people to tap on the vast resources of Benogh’s beautiful sceneries, caves, rivers, mountains, waterfalls and the famous Rafflesia gardens.
He was confident that the surrounding beauty of Bengoh, if tapped carefully and be developed into tourism products, would be able to bring in tourism activities into the area.
“With this, we could promote and multiply the available homestay programmes here. We must get the people involved in tourism products as well,” he said, adding that Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit who is also Mambong MP would help in tapping these potentials
In addition, Dr Jerip also pointed out that in tandem with plans to develop the human capital, he would promote programmes to train the villagers to be enterprising and building up their capacity to be businessmen.
Looking at the young people, especially those without jobs, he insisted that they must be enterprising and have their skills developed for business.
“We must open their eyes for the various income generating opportunities available. We would also increase their participation to take skills courses to become skilled construction workers, plumbers, in electronics, tailoring and other fields,” he suggested.
(Source : Borneo Post Online, 25/4/2011)