SIBU: Residents of Rumah Jilap Taji at Mile 6, Pakan-Engkamop Road are prepared to meet the demand for vegetables from the Tanjong Manis halal hub and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
Tuai Rumah Jilap said the 38-door longhouse now produced not less than 20,000 kilogrammes of vegetables monthly. He said the veggies, planted in nets to protect them from insects and pests, were supplied to Sibu, Saratok, Sarikei, Kapit and Bintulu.
“The vegetables fetch RM2.50 per kilogramme and that brings about RM50,000 per month to the longhouse residents.
“At that production capacity, we are ready for Tanjong Manis halal hub and SCORE,” he said in his welcoming speech at a meet-the-people session at the longhouse on Sunday.
Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum and Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Senator Datuk Doris Sophia Brodie jointly graced the function.
Earlier, when relating the development in the area, TR Jilap said their lives had changed so much after their longhouse was accessible by Pakan-Engkamop Road, which connected them to Pakan town and other places, in 1969. He said they were grateful for the road although it was not tar-sealed.
“Our lives have improved since then. Our economy has been growing much better after we started to plant vegetables as a source of income,” he said.
On education, he said although the longhouse had only three persons able to read and write in the beginning, it now has produced 13 graduates while 15 others were studying in universities and colleges.
The longhouse is also provided with water and electricity, he said. TR Jilap thanked the government for implementing the Wireless Village project under the National Broadband Initiative at the longhouse. With the building of telecommunication towers in the area, the longhouse residents could now call their family members anytime.
Meanwhile, Salang in his speech later said he would look into the delay in setting up a vegetable processing centre for Pakan. He said it was supposed to be ready in 2010.
“With such centre, it is hoped that vegetables produced by the longhouse residents will be more marketable,” he said.