A discussion on “Coconut the new Golden Fruit: The Sunrise Industry” organised by IDS on 6th May 2021 at IDS Hall, Kota Kinabalu. The session was moderated by Datuk Idrus bin Shafie, IDS member of Development Planning Consultative Committee. Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Hj Johari, Chairman of IDS delivered the welcoming remarks.
KOTA KINABALU (FRI): With the awareness of sustainable environment, healthy food and lifestyle, the coconut industry is making a comeback and will soon become a promising industry as it is gaining popularity globally, said Datuk Dr. Mohd. Yaakub Hj. Johari, Chairman of the Institute for Development Studies (Sabah) (IDS) at a discussion session organised by IDS on 6 th May 2021.
“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 has vast potential to become a hub for producers of coconut-based products if it is developed systematically and meets information standards,” said Datuk Dr. Yaakub during his welcoming remarks. He added that 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.
The moderator of the discussion, Datuk Dr. Idrus Shafie, IDS member of Development Planning Consultative Committee 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. The session attended by the main players within the agriculture industry in Sabah, has 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. Datuk Dr. Yakuub expressed his confidence in the emerging coconut industry with the support of the industry experts present during the discussion and said that IDS is fully supportive and will mobilise its research capacity to aid all parties involved in materialising the coconut industry in Sabah.