KOTA BAHARU, April 24 (Bernama) -- Farmers and traders in Kelantan have
very much benefited from the National Agribusiness Terminal in Bandar Baru
Tunjong near here, better known among local residents as Teman.
However, come 4 May 2012 Teman will be known as the Kota Baharu Rural
Transformation Centre (RTC), playing a significant role in bridging the
economic divide between rural and urban dwellers in the state.
Teman has been operating for about a year to assist farmers, breeders and
fishermen by supplying their products to wholesalers and distributors, but under
RTC Kota Baharu they will be able to take advantage of larger facilities, along
with the general public.
RTC Kota Baharu will serve as a one-stop centre in not only collecting,
processing and distributing agricultural produce, but also in providing banking
and insurance services, business consulting services, skills training classes,
and even healthcare.
Fama''s Regional Director Mohd Ariffin Awang told Bernama recently that
Teman''s changeover into RTC Kota Baharu is aimed at providing a comprehensive
approach in improving the lives and the productivity of the state''s agrarian
USING THE AVAILABLE FACILITIES
Kota Baharu RTC, to be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun
Razak, will be operating from Teman''s existing facility, built at a cost of
RM140 million on a 20.8 hectare site. The facilities include two wholesale
blocks - for vegetable and fruits, fish, poultry and meat- and a three storey
The covered wholesale blocks ensure a more conducive environment for trading
and includes 1,000 free parking spaces to lure more traders and members of the
Also, the three floor administrative block offers numerous facilities,
including office space, as well as seminar and exhibition rooms.
GREAT POTENTIAL FOR THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
Mohd Ariffin noted that if the RM90 million sales recorded by the 391 Teman
participants is anything to go by, the farming sector promised lucrative returns
and could certainly help transform the lives of rural dwellers for the better.
"This year we are targeting sales by the 404 participants to double to RM180
million and we are confident of achieving this figure, since from January to
February 2012 the sales value has reached RM37 million, surpassing the initial
estimate of RM30 million," said Mohd Arrifin, who is also Teman''s Director.
During the two-month period, vegetables recorded the highest sales,
accounting for RM10.3 million, followed by fruits at slightly more than RM2
million and freshwater/marine fish at more then RM2.9 million.
He said while Teman''s role was limited to helping to market the farmers,
breeders and fishermen''s products, the RTC serves as an integrated comprehensive
service centre to the agro-entrepreneurs and the public from throughout
RTC covers the collection, processing and distribution of agricultural
produce, banking and insurance services, business consulting services, skill
training, healthcare, trading space and more services will be offered when the
"Farmers, breeders and fishermen can trade at RTC Kota Baharu in comfort, as
all the amenities are available to them, and youths can start familiarising
themselves with the world of commerce right here," he said.
As of April 8, the agencies and businesses that had started operating at the
administration block include Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board, Groom Big,
Agrobank, Kontena Nasional, Dome Technologies Sdn Bhd/Sime Darby, Murni
Marketing Sdn Bhd, Tekun Nasional, an agency under the Agriculture and
Agro-based Industries Ministry.
The service agencies operating at the wholesale block are Road Transport
Department Counters (JPJ), Pos Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia, 1Malaysia Clinic,
National Kenaf and Tobacco Board, Farmers Organisation Board, Bank Simpanan
Nasional (BSN) and the 1Malaysia information kiosk maintained by the Rural and
Regional Development Ministry.
"Several more departments and agencies, private firms and non-governmental
organisations have given their commitment to serve at the RTC Kota Baharu and
their presence means the services sought by the people are all available under
one roof," said Mohd Ariffin.
Mohd Ariffin added that he hoped with the comprehensive services provided at
RTC Kota Baharu, rural residents would make use of the centre to boost their
earnings, look for employment opportunities, learn entrepreneurial skills, as
well as other services.
RTC TO TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF RURAL DWELLERS
RTC is a mechanism introduced by the government under the National Blue
Ocean Strategy and spearheaded by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry
and the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries. The other
participating ministries are the Ministry of Health, Higher Education Ministry
and Finance Ministry.
The pioneering RTC was established in Gopeng Perak and launched by the Prime
Minister last 18 Feb.
The RTC is to be expanded with four more facilities in Kuala Kedah (Kedah),
Kuala Linggi (Melaka), Tanjung Manis (Sarawak) and Pekan Nanas (Johor).
Speaking to reporters when visiting Kelantan recently, Rural and Regional
Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal stated that the RTC would
complement various rural transformation efforts and help rural residents
join the mainstream development.
"RTC serves as the one-stop centre that will help distribute rural dwellers''
products all over the nation and eventually penetrate the export market," noted
BD PR INE RON