The Agriculture Department was on Tuesday night urged to control the prices of fertilisers and pesticides to relieve the burden of farmers.
“We are now in an era where various commodities are priced at a higher rate compared to before and they include fertilisers and pesticides which we need in agriculture cultivation,” Kuching Area Farmers’ Organisation (Kafo) chairman Penghulu Sebi Masran said.
Kafo, which has about 4,500 members, is a body which helps to improve the income and productivity of the farmers.
“Previously, a bag of fertiliser was only priced between RM90 and RM100 but now it is at a staggering RM180 per bag,” he said when speaking at the dinner held in conjunction with the 21st annual general meeting of the association.
He also appealed to the authorities to take the necessary measures to help the farmers to cope with the increase in the prices of various items.
At the same time, he also told the crowd of more than 150 people which included unit chiefs, assistant unit chiefs, and members of the board of directors to look for possible alternatives that would help to cut down their costs.
Agriculture Farmers Institution Division acting senior assistant director Othman Hamdan, who also spoke at the dinner, stressed that members could compose their own fertilisers if possible to sail through the hard time.
He added that the farmers should work strategically to achieve better business prospect.
“Vision to look ahead is crucial and it is wise to make a five-year or even 10-year strategic business plan coupled with good implementation,” he advised.
Speaking on implementation, he said someone with leadership qualities would be a calibre candidate in carrying out projects thus generating more business volume as desired.
At the dinner, certificates and souvenirs were presented to outstanding members.
Joji Nabiau, who was adjudged the excellent unit chief, said he was only providing assistance to the farmers whenever he could.
“I am just performing my duty as a unit chief. It is a responsibility I shoulder and I always make an effort to interact with them to see if they had encountered any problem,” he said.
The AFO’s general manager Saibee Dael, project manager Leo Mamba and assistant chief clerk Norjanah Fauzi were among those present.