Innovative Sabah food products a hit at Malaysian Family Aspirations Tour, say state entrepreneurs

People attend the Malaysian Family Aspirations Tour (JAKM) at the Sabah International Convention Centre in Kota Kinabalu May 22, 2022. — Bernama pic

People attend the Malaysian Family Aspirations Tour (JAKM) at the Sabah International Convention Centre in Kota Kinabalu May 22, 2022. — Bernama pic

Sunday, 22 May 2022 5:40 PM MYT

KOTA KINABALU, May 22 — Sabah Small and Medium Industry (SMI) entrepreneurs are taking full advantage of the Malaysian Family Aspirations Tour (JAKM) to promote their innovative food products and generating lucrative income.

The three-day tour from Friday at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) was also a platform for the SMI entrepreneurs to expand the potential of their respective product brands as visitors to their booths comprised members of the Malaysian Family including those from the peninsula.

A young entrepreneur, Muhammad Shah Abd Salam, 37, from Semporna, said he did not expect the innovative food product he was working on, namely putu kurita, would receive encouraging response from visitors as more than 1,500 packs were sold, exceeding the initial target of 1,000 packs.

“I did not expect this traditional food product to sell well in conjunction with the Sabah Malaysian Family Aspirations (AKM) tour until I had to ask for help from my family in Semporna to send supplies to Kota Kinabalu for two days in a row by express bus.

“I think this series of tours is very effective in helping local SMI entrepreneurs introduce their products, apart from the opportunity for us to build business networks with other entrepreneurial partners,” he said when met by Bernama, today.

Muhammad Shah, who won the Rural Business Challenge for the business idea category in 2016, said he took the initiative to innovate putu, a traditional food of the Sabah Bajau community, because he wanted to ensure that it remained known and did not become obsolete.

Usually, putu is eaten separately with fish at noon, however, he innovates the traditional food so that it can be eaten at any time because the filling is already placed according to the consumer’s taste.

Apart from putu kurita which, among others, uses ingredients such as cassava, dried squid, dried pepper, salt and seasoning, Muhammad Shah also introduced putu with anchovies.

He is optimistic that the traditional food innovation product can sell up to 2,000 packs on the AKM tour series, with each pack being sold at RM10.

Meanwhile, another SME entrepreneur Rojaliah Hanti, 47, said the AKM tour series helped her and her sister Rojaidah Hanti, 38, to promote the uniqueness of their food innovation product, namely cabbage floss.

Describing cabbage floss as a ‘creative product of PKP’, Rojaliah said as it was only commercialised in 2020 after successfully innovating the food product during the implementation of the Movement Control Order (PKP) following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When MCO was first implemented two years ago, it resulted in the dumping of vegetables including cabbage in Ranau. The idea of producing cabbage floss started when we received a sack of cabbage from the villagers.

“After the idea came up, we then gave cabbage floss to the family and nearest neighbours as an experiment and they like it,” she said, adding that the move also helped neighbours to generate income after being affected by MCO by encouraging them produce their innovation.

She also did not expect some of the visitors to the AKM Sabah tour, especially those from the peninsula, to return to their booth to book the cabbage floss wholesale.

Apart from cabbage floss, Rojaliah also introduced white pepper floss, which are sold at RM7 and RM9 per pack respectively.

During the three days of AKM tour, the two siblings managed to sell about 1,000 packs of cabbage and white pepper floss.

“We hope that this cabbage and white pepper floss will be able to penetrate a wider market because this tour series will also indirectly be a platform to help promote our products,” she said. — Bernama