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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

Cooperative bestowed RM40k for product development and implementation of lemongrass project


8 December 2023

By Wartawan Nabalu News


KOTA KINABALU: The Inanam Traders and Entrepreneurs Cooperative Berhad’s (KOUPIO) first product called Coffee Cactus was launched, today by the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative (MEDC) Datuk Ewon Benedick.


This was one of several products developed and marketed by the cooperative and they were already looking at reaping the goodness of lemongrass as a raw material to produce essential oil in collaboration with the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS).


The Minister said that he welcomed the cooperative’s initiative and announced an allocation of RM20,000 under the SKM development scheme to develop packaging and labeling for Coffee Cactus.


“Furthermore, I have also agreed to provide a special allocation of RM20,000 from my Ministry early next year for this cooperative for its lemongrass cultivation initiatives among its members and the surrounding residents of Inanam,” he said.


“I am confident that initiatives like this can help our land-owning population become more productive and lift them out of poverty,” he said adding that for landowners categorized as hardcore poor, this programme and initiative could help them break free from the shackles of poverty through participation in cooperatives.


Cooperatives in their endeavours could also help by offering farming contracts, where they provide seedlings and, upon maturity, the produce would be harvested and purchased by the cooperative, he said adding that this could help the community and contribute towards product development and the lemongrass cultivation initiatives.


“There are 81 registered cooperatives in the Sepanggar Parliamentary constituency and 40 cooperatives in the Inanam State Assembly constituency. It is evident that the Inanam area holds great potential and is well-suited for the implementation of cooperative activities within the community,” he said.


“For instance, the Cinta Kobuni Village Cooperative Berhad, situated in Kampung Kobuni, is known for its involvement in tourism-related activities such as homestays, hiking, van rentals, and more. These community activities not only create employment opportunities for local residents but also showcase the unique characteristics of the district or village,” he stated.


In this respect he strongly encouraged the community in the Sepanggar Parliamentary constituency, particularly in the Inanam State Assembly constituency, to actively participate in business activities within cooperatives.


“MEDC with the Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM), the Malaysian Cooperative Institute (IKMa), and the National Cooperative Movement of Malaysia Berhad (ANGKASA), will continue to empower and transform the national cooperative sector in alignment with the agenda of advancing the country's economic development,” he said.


He firmly believed that the cooperative movement across Malaysia would remain a crucial pillar in fostering the nation's economy and enhancing the well-being of its people.


Also present were Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Industry cum Inanam Assemblyman Peto Galim, Chief Executive Officer of SKM Rusli Jaafar, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Dr. Roland Chia, SKM Board of Directors Member Datuk Wong Thien Fook, Community Development Leader Officer William Majimbun, and Chairman of Inanam Traders and Entrepreneurs Cooperative Berhad Datin Esther Sikayun.

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