KUCHING: Dayak farmers must transform their traditional subsistence farming to modern farming through application of new technologies and digital marketing platforms.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said to be able to be a part of the part of the agricultural and economic transformation, it is his fervent hope that the Dayak community could participate actively in the field of commerce and industry.
“Time has changed and traditional subsistence farming can no longer quite fit the modern economic life the Dayak wish for,” he said in his Gawai message.
He said like it or not, traditional farming has to undergo a certain transformation so that agriculture can be turned into commercial ventures in order to upgrade the economic status of the Dayak community as a whole.
“I believe our Dayak farmers can make it good by commercialising their farming with the support of good connectivity and marketing strategy,” he stressed.
He said the Dayaks have a lot of land which can be used to produce food for export and they should take advantage of this.
“A lot of Dayak smallholders have succeeded in oil palm and pepper farming and, with the right advice and secured markets, I don’t see any reason why they cannot do well in food production such as planting vegetables and fruits.
“In this context, I am confident that our Dayak friends can play an important role in helping Sarawak to be a net exporter of food in the not too distant a future,” he pointed out.
He then said the Dayaks are known for being hardworking and persevering in the face of hardship and adversity.
“Being hardworking is the culture of the Dayak whose tradition revolves around the hard work in the production of rice as their staple food. At the end of the padi season, Gawai is celebrated in thanksgiving for a good harvest.”