Desa Lestari Programme able to empower rural communities

KEPALA BATAS, Feb 11 — The Desa Lestari programme, an initiative of the Rural Development Ministry, has succeeded in empowering local communities to plan and successfully implement development projects in rural areas.

Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said since its introduction in 2013, 137 villages nationwide have been listed under the programme.

“The Desa Lestari programme is to enhance the economic and entrepreneurial activities by villagers through cooperatives by creating new employment opportunities and to boost their incomes.

“It will indirectly develop the villages that participate in this programme and encourage the use of digital technology as well as the latest and modern methods in economic activities,” he said in a statement today.

Mahdzir had attended the Desa Lestari Programme agricultural machinery handover ceremony to Koperasi Desa Cemerlang Air Melintas Besar, Kepala Batas Berhad here today.

Mahdzir said the villages selected under the Desa Lestari Programme would receive grants for the implementing community economic projects channelled through the community cooperative platform.

He said project assistance grants covered six main economic sectors – agriculture, livestock, tourism, services, manufacturing and retail.

“In Penang, for example, a total of nine villages have received aid grants under the programme with a worth RM7.03 million in 2020,” he said.

He said Kampung Air Melintas Besar in Kepala Batas had been selected as one of the Desa Lestari villages to carry out agriculture projects with grants totalling RM752,300.

“I hope more other villages will strive to participate in the Desa Lestari programme in an effort to develop rural communities in line with the changing times and the global economic landscape,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency