KUCHING: Sarawak hopes to gain some relevant technologies in agricultural development from New Zealand to transform the state’s agricultural sector, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Uggah, who is also Sarawak’s Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, is currently leading a state delegation on a week-long visit to New Zealand.
“We greatly admire your developments. We hope to learn about New Zealand’s route in agricultural development to become a leading producer and exporter of cattle, sheep and diary products,“ he said in conjunction with his visit to the New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries office in Wellington today.
The delegation members were met by the ministry’s deputy director-general Perry Nelson on arrival at the ministry’s office, where they were given briefings on New Zealand’s agricultural development, including its export performance and on the Maori’s participation in the industry.
The Maori, which comprises 98 different tribal groups, owns 1.5 million hectares or 5% of the total land in New Zealand.
According to Nelson, New Zealand has a population of 4.9 million people. However, its farmers and growers are feeding 40 million people worldwide.
Some 350,000 people or 16% of the population are employed in the sector.
She also had an interesting revelation in that Malaysians owned 52 food outlets, the biggest number owned by non-New Zealanders in that country.
Meanwhile Malaysia is New Zealand’s 11th largest trading partner and the biggest import from Malaysia are oil and palm oil based animal feed and fertiliser largely used in its primary sector.
On the other hand, its exports to Malaysia are sheep, beef, cheese, butter and milk powder.
Last year, the bilateral trade between the two countries were worth RM8.25 billion or NZ$3 billion. — Bernama