Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sabah planning more agrotourism events next year

A MALAYSIAN International Native Orchid Show and a Garden Landscape Festival have been planned to be held here and at the Sabah Agriculture Park in Tenom, respectively, in October next year, as part of the effort to promote agrotourism.

Assistant Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, Datuk Bobbey Suan, said the two events, which are currently in the planning stages, will further enhance the State's agrotourism development and its trickle effect will benefit the tourism sector in general.

Replying to Gum-Gum Assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Edris during the question-and- answer session, Bobbey said the Ministry is well aware of the agrotourism potential and has made it one of its development priorities to promote and encourage this as part of product diversification.

He said among the various agrotourism products that have been developed by the Ministry through its departments and agencies include Sabah Agriculture Park which was developed by the Agriculture Department, Tagal System developed throughout Sabah under the Fisheries Department, Wetland Agro-Tourism Development at Weston Wetland Park in Weston by Ko-Nelayan, Keningau Livestock Farm by the Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industries (Dovsai), as well as various other agricultural activities like mushroom industry in Mesilau, goat rearing in Papar and bee farming in Matunggong which have already been developed as part of agro-tourism packages.

Each of these agrotourism products developed by the Ministry offers a variety of activities that can attract tourists, he said, adding Sabah Agriculture Park in Lagud Sebrang, Tenom held three annual events which have already been included in the Sabah Tourism Board calendar, namely the Anniversary Carnival held every March, Flowers Festival every August and Taman kita every December.

For promotional purposes, he said, the park is also actively participating in exhibitions held at the State, national and international levels, like the Harvest Festival, Kalimaran Festival, Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen's Day, Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Exhibition (Maha) in Serdang, Selangor, Sabah International Expo 2012 and Singapore International Orchid Conference 2011.