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​Life-Changing Impact on Community Socioeconomic Growth: UTP Forms Strategic Partnership to Uplift Lives in Sarawak Indigenous Communities 

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Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) has launched a community-driven initiative, known as the grassroots social innovation programme or “Towards Uplifting Lives Programme" (TULiP).

Led by UTP Centre of Social Innovation (CoSI) under the Institute of Self-sustainable Building (ISB), TULiP is jointly funded by PETRONAS, Yayasan Hasanah and UTP’s University Social Responsibility (USR).

CoSI collaborates closely with the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), and PEDULI INSAN in a concerted effort to uplift the socio-economic standing of the indigenous communities in Lawas, Sarawak.

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The project aims to enhance the quality of life through skill and training development for employability and entrepreneurship capability development for revenue creation.

Professor Ts Dr Shahrina Md Nordin, UTP ISB Director and TULiP Leader said, “TULiP represents the university’s commitment to fostering positive change in communities. We believe in the transformative power of education and empowerment, and through this collaboration with our esteemed partners, we aim to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic growth of the communities we serve.

“As part of UTP's commitment to community development, TULiP serves as a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise, actively contributing to the improvement of the community's socio-economic status. This initiative aligns seamlessly with the university's broader corporate social responsibility initiatives,” she added.

Signature products are established based on the communities’ strength and interest, with a hand-holding approach of end-to-end development that includes value co-creation, ideation, business planning, production house development, technical training, production, branding, marketing and sales.

To date, the signature products are already in the market via Shopee and its website. The signature product brand name given by the communities is LINAWA, representing the cultural richness of the Lun Bawang tribe. Agricultural products, specifically Adan rice and Arabica coffee beans, are key components of this initiative.

UTP has formed a strategic partnership with MARDI to collaborate on the development of one of the innovative products which is formulated Arabica coffee premixed with Adan rice of black variety.

The new grassroots innovative product that was initially experimented with the communities was brought to MARDI labs. The new product had also been brought to the public for tasting where respondents validated the nice aroma and exquisite taste. MARDI has also verified its high antioxidant content and nutrition.

The value co-creation has impacted the local farmers who produce Arabica coffee and the three varieties of the Adan rice – Adan black, Adan red and Adan white.

As part of the programme, Koperasi Usahasama Long Sukang, is also established to oversee the overall operations of the production and business.

The programme is chaired by Jenny Alau, a female leader from an indigenous community, highlighting the emphasis on inclusivity. The project aligns with several Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs), especially inclusivity and diversity, no poverty, zero hunger, good-health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities, and decent work and economic growth.

The programme has already made a substantial impact, notably benefiting the village folks along the PETRONAS’s Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline, the stretch from Kampung Long Sukang, Punang Berayong to Long Luping, Sarawak where participants have experienced improvements in their socio-economic status.

Board members of Koperasi Usahasama Long Sukang, production operators and farmers have also experienced an approximate 20% increase in their income. This effort contributes to poverty alleviation and reduction of inequalities.

For more information on LINAWA, please visit LINAWA products are available for purchase at​​​​​​