ISKANDAR PUTERI, Dec 7 — The Johor government will be meeting Deputy Prime Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also in charge of rural and regional development next week.
State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Datuk Zahari Sarip today said the discussions will centre on state-federal cooperation.
He added that a date has been proposed for next Monday or Tuesday but has yet to be confirmed.
Speaking in the state legislature earlier, Zahari said the Johor government has allocated a total of RM43.63 million to upgrade infrastructure and repair roads as well as other development in rural areas in the state for the benefit of the residents of the area, that includes farmers.
He said the initiative was implemented in collaboration with the Johor Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) and the Johor Rural Development Ministry’s office.
Zahari said that the Johor DID has allocated RM31.45 million to implement 242 projects, including nine agricultural road crossing projects, water infrastructure projects, agricultural drainage and agricultural foundations (16 projects) and rural road maintenance projects under the Malaysian Road Records Information (RM217 million).
“Through the Johor Rural and Regional Development Ministry’s office, a total of RM12.18 million has been allocated to implement 188 Rural Link Road projects throughout the state this year covering 517.44 kilometres.
“Muar is the district with the highest number of projects, with 51 projects worth RM3.43 million, followed by Batu Pahat (38 projects, RM2.29 million); Tangkak (29 projects, RM1 million); Segamat (27 projects, RM2.4 million ) and Pontian (17 projects, 570,000),” he said.
He was replying to Ng Kor Sim (PH-DAP) who wanted to know the state government’s measures to improve infrastructure, especially those involving orchards.
Zahari explained that the state government encouraged farmers and entrepreneurs to start projects first to see their commitment level in carrying out agricultural projects before assisting them to receive related incentives.
He said entrepreneurs will be assisted in the development of their farms such as in the areas of irrigation, drainage and drainage systems, the construction of bridges or bridges, farm roads, the preparation of fences, the construction of compost sheds and the construction of input material stores.
The incentives given depends on the area involved according to the incentive ratio, which is a maximum of RM20,000 per hectare, he said.
He said as much as RM1.25 million was also spent to implement 14 drainage system or river maintenance projects throughout the state for agricultural purposes.
In a later news conference, Zahari said he is also keen to meet Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu soon to better plan its farms.
He said this is because Johor focuses heavily on agriculture.
“This discussion is essential for us to get the cooperation from the federal government, especially cooperation from the relevant ministers as Johor’s main activity is agriculture.
“In the meeting with Mohamad, it is hoped to discuss the direction and what the state government has planned in relation to agriculture, this is important to help the main players in the agricultural industry in Johor,” the Buluh Kasap assemblyman said.
He said Johor was keen on black pepper farming and modernising its agriculture.