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More seed banks needed: PM

MALACCA, 19 Aug 2008: More seed banks are needed to meet the increasing demand of the horticulture industry, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said so far, the seed bank managed by Sime Darby was ready and is expected to supply the seeds needed for the Northern Corridor Economic Region’s agriculture projects.

Abdullah was speaking to reporters after the launching of the state-level Green Earth Programme in Taman Merdeka, Batu Berendam, here today by his wife, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah.

The prime minister said many farmers and residents would require more seeds to take part in the programme.

Abdullah said he wanted villagers and residents of housing estates to make use of their house compounds or vacant land around their homes by growing vegetables and fruit trees.

“The Green Earth Programme must be carried out earnestly and not seasonally or sporadically.

“To ensure that the programme is successfully implemented, I will monitor it. I will do the spot checks without the reporters or growers knowing,” he said.

Abdullah hoped that the Green Earth programme carried out by Taman Merdeka residents would be a model for other housing areas.

Abdullah and Jeanne, who were accompanied by Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, also visited a mango orchard and a mango juice-making enterprise in Kampung Gelam, Tanjung Keling, near here. – Bernama

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