Bachok, Pasir Puteh to become vitato-growing zone
Last Update: 14/09/2019
PASIR PUTEH, Sept 14 – Soil suitability and profit potential for ex-tobacco farmers will see Bachok and Pasir Puteh turned into a VitAto (a variety of sweet potato) zone.
Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (KADA) chairman, Datuk Husam Musa, said: “Compared to other varieties, including from Thailand, this one is sweeter and more nutritious.”
To date, more than 1,000 former tobacco growers have planted this orange-fleshed crop suited to sandy soil, with production able to meet demand in Kelantan, especially from pisang goreng (banana fritter) sellers.
He said at a briefing and dialogue with more than 50 VitAto farmers from Bachok and Pasir Puteh today in Kampung Pak Mayong also attended by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Kelantan rector, Associate Prof Dr Zulkifli Mohamed, that the crop can be harvested three times a year and achieve a high price of RM2.50 per kg.
He added the industry is being developed with the help of government agencies like the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) and UiTM through the Poverty Development Research Centre which was established to supervise and steer farmers towards the use of advanced technology.
He said if there are more farmers and more than enough VitAto, KADA will embark on promoting it to the Klang Valley, while the shoots can be marketed to restaurants.
On a separate matter, Husam, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) Kelantan chairman, said he is sceptical of the PAS leadership’s claim that the PAS-UMNO pact which was signed at the Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (an Islamic solidarity gathering) today is in line with PAS spiritual adviser, Allahyarham Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s wishes.
He said it seems dubious, and if indeed genuine, why wasn’t the Tok Guru’s widow invited to share the stage with the PAS and UMNO leaders?