Image credit: Malay Mail

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas wants Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) to increase its productivity.

He hopes to see productivity increase to 20 tons per hectare from the current average of 15 tons and urged Salcra to apply Internet of Things (IoT) for that purpose.

Uggah, who is Salcra chairman, said high productivity meant higher bonuses and dividends for workers and landowners.

“Work out a programme to make sure that productivity can be pushed up to 20 ton per hectare. This is your KPI (Key Performance Indicator). At the moment, the overall Salcra productivity is only 15 tons.

“There are some areas already showing indications of achieving this target which means it (20 tons per hectare) can be done for those problematic or less productive areas,” he said during his visit to the Saribas estate in Betong yesterday.

Also present was newly-appointed Salcra acting general manager Joseph Blandoi.

“Salcra needs to look into the causes of low productivity and come up with recommendations to solve them,” he said, adding that more modern technologies ought to be employed in estate management.

“We have been using drones to identify suitable planting areas in difficult terrains. But we need IoT to monitor at our fingertips routines like the application of fertiliser, amount of running water and temperature,” he added.

Uggah said, at the moment, Salcra was supplying the standard fertiliser to all its estates statewide. He, however, pointed out that there are different soil conditions in different areas and that there is a need to know about fertiliser suitability.

The deputy chief minister hoped to be on the ground more often to address troubleshooting.

He said one outstanding issue in the estates was the issuance of land titles to the landowners. He hopes to do this starting this June.

“We also want Salcra to release land which owners want to develop on their own,” he said.

Uggah also spoke of recruiting more employees to fill the many vacancies in Salcra.