KUCHING –“Sagu likat”, a starchy delicacy also known as “ambuyat” or “linut” is among the unique food found in Borneo, including Sarawak.
It is eaten using wooden chopsticks, known as ‘atip’ for the Melanau community, and is often mixed with “sambal belacan” or midin vegetables and yams for tea.
Also known as Papeda in Indonesia, it is made mixing sago flour with hot water, but tedious to prepare as it requires proper technique and is time consuming.
However, it gives Dr Siti Mardinah Abdul Hamid, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Business Management, at UiTM in Samarahan, to produce the popular delicacy of the people of Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and some areas in Indonesia, as an instant food.
She said it was not easy for her to market the product initially, but with the help of CENTEXS Commercial Media (CCM), she now had to increase production to 1,000 packets a month
“Before I met them (CCM), it was difficult to sell my product because only few people knew about it. Now, things have changed, many people know about it and the orders we are getting for the instant linut are also increasing,” she told Bernama when met recently.
CCM is an organisation set up by the state government to help local Sarawak entrepreneurs market their traditional products.
Siti Mardihah said CCM helped in terms of marketing, packaging and also brand design.
Prior to getting CCM’s help, she said , her product, “Laris’S Linut Segera”, was sold only as “ready-to eat” food at Pasar Satok, here.
She said she had plans to expand the marketing of her instant linut.
“I have been doing my research since 2013 to produce instant linut so that the delicacy can be enjoyed at any time.
“CCM helps in terms of marketing, because their marketing is stronger and reachable to bigger crowds. And now, I can produce the product on a large scale because there is market for it,” she added.
Although still operating the business from home, she is hopeful that with CCM’s help, there will be higher demand and she would soon get to set up her own factory to cater for markets outside Sarawak and other states, and then internationally.
For now, she said, the products could be obtained at CCM sales centres throughout the state physically or online through e-commerce platforms such as Grabmart or Pandamart.
Meanwhile, CENTEXS Commercial general manager Shahren Yusri said the Sarawak local food products being promoted by the company were expected to penetrate the international market in the fourth quarter of 2022.
He said CCM had to ensure the products met all the certifications and standards before they could be featured in the foreign market.
“That is our aim in collaborating with research centres to help us in identifying products that can be featured in terms of halal certification and so on, especially for the local and international markets,” he told Bernama.
Shahren said CCM had also succeeded in bringing heritage products such as handicraft works, songket and fashion to the international market.
CCM, established in 2019, aims to market Sarawak’s heritage and digital products, as well as to help the Sarawak communities, especially local entrepreneurs, market their products.
Apart from showcasing these products at the Heritage Central Gallery, Heritage Café and Songket Keringkam Gallery located in Kuching, the entity also markets the products at selected locations throughout the state.
According to Shahren, marketing is also done on leading ‘marketplace’ platforms such as Shopee, GrabMart and PandaMart in an effort to expand the digital market for the 280 entrepreneurs.
“Although the number looks small, the main purpose is to help the entrepreneurs who can produced their products consistently,” he added.