Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Junz Wong (right) starts his day at work in Kota Kinabalu. Pic by FARDY BUNGGA

KOTA KINABALU: Newly-appointed Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Junz Wong plans to develop the tyre industry to assist rubber smallholders and create new job opportunities in Sabah.

Junz said a development plan or mechanism would be outlined to ensure the scheme can be achieved as rubber is an important commodity, with emphasise placed on diversifying downstream activities concerning agriculture.

“Although the rubber production in Sabah is less (than some states), we will strive to create suitable mechanism to implement the plan. This is because the tyre industry will give benefit to Sabah people not just among the consumers and rubber tappers, but it creates job opportunities,” he told reporters met at his office today.

Junz reporting for duty for the first time at the Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry’s office at Wisma Pertanian here, today.

He chaired his first meeting with the ministry’s staff after touring his office.

Junz also said he would give attention to the paddy production to ensure quality and the price for the basic food is reasonable.

He however said several matters including lands, drainage management and flood problems needed to be addressed before the plan could be implemented.

“All these issues need to be given special attention because we might be experiencing food supply problem if there’s no systematic planning.

“We will probably focus on Kota Belud as the rice cultivation area first. If successful, we will use the same manner to open new area in other districts to ensure adequate supplies,” he said.

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