SEMPORNA – Two new Sabah Seaweed Cluster projects will be developed in this district this year, said Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
He said that the government allocated RM4 million for both projects, which would be implemented in Kerindingan Island and would commence soon.
“The allocation will be distributed at RM2 million per project and existing small entrepreneurs will be merged into collective entrepreneurs, with a minimum of 30 participants who will set up a company or a co-operative.
“So far, four groups under the Seaweed Cluster Project have been established, three in Semporna and one in Tawau, which are funded entirely by the government,” he told reporters after visiting Seaweed Cluster Projects in Look Butun and Gelam Gelam near here, Sunday.
Ahmad Shabery said the government aimed to develop 10 Seaweed Cluster Projects in Sabah by 2020, with the participation of over 1,000 people who could produce 5,000 tonnes of dried seaweeds.
Regarding the Seaweed Cluster Project in Look Butun and Gelam Gelam, Shabery said those projects had been carried out for the past two years through Third Entry Point Projects under the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA).
“The planting areas for both projects have been carried out over an area extending 3,000 hectares (block 1) which was approved by the State Cabinet for the purpose of Sabah Fisheries Department’s NKEA development project,” he said.
He added so far, 60 participants had developed about 121 hectares in the Look Butun project, while the project in Gelam Gelam was participated by 50 participants involving 100 hectares.
“Last year, each participant in the Look Butun project earned RM9,048, while Gelam Gelam participants earned RM9,100,” he said. – BERNAMA