SIBU – Sarawak’s timber industry players have been urged to conduct research and development (R&D) in order to be more sustainable in the future.
Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, said this was line with the digital economic activities and industrial forestry policy the state government was promoting now.
Sarawak would be able to put itself in the forefront in terms of research and exploitation of resources that were well-managed, he said.
“I have promoted industrial forest policy so we can retain our primary forests and use planted forests for us to sustain our timber industry and the market is still there.
“We will be able to manage our resources efficiently with available technology. That is why I go for digital economy, meaning you have data centre where you have all information to do researches,” he said during the topping-out ceremony of Ta Ann Group building’s new wing at Jalan Rawang here today.
With the data and through technology, labour could be optimised and at the same time a lot of scientists could be produced to produce new products, he said.
Abang Johari praised Ta Ann for taking the lead in R&D and that should be taken as an example for other players in the timber industry.
Ta Ann started its R&D works in tree planting in mid-1990’s and started with industrial tree planting in 2001. To-date it had planted about 33,000 hectares of predominantly Acacia Mangium Superbulk tree species.
It had various R&D projects with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Sarawak Forestry Corp and other agencies with the aim to develop genetically-improved planting materials.
The group had also carried out terrace planting of Kelampayang trees, where the method minimises ground disturbances as vegetation along both sides of the terraces are left intact to enhance natural forest stock in future rotations. – BERNAMA