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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_More young agropreneurs needed as agriculture industry evolves

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Khazanah Research Institute deputy director of research Dr Sarena Che Omar said, in developed countries whereby the services sector dominate their gross domestic product (GDP), agriculture and food continue to expand and innovate along with the evolving consumer demands.

KUALA LUMPUR: The outlook for the food and agriculture industry will be more important over the next 10 to 20 years as Malaysia shifts further into a service-dominant economy, thus making the involvement of youths in the sector with a twist of modern technology more imminent.

Khazanah Research Institute deputy director of research Dr Sarena Che Omar said, in developed countries whereby the services sector dominate their gross domestic product (GDP), agriculture and food continue to expand and innovate along with the evolving consumer demands.

“In a higher-income country, food safety, on-farm labour rights, and sustainable agricultural methods are all important when purchasing food. This is less so in a poorer country where the focus is on food affordability and quantity, rather than quality.

“As Malaysia transitions into a high-income country, it will become even more important that the local food is produced sustainably such as according to the Malaysian Good Agricultural Practice (MyGAP) requirements, are safe to consume and conforms to fair labour conditions wherein the farmers and workers are fairly paid and there’s food traceability,” she told Bernama.

She said this is where Malaysia is heading and its agriculture and food sector must adapt to meet the changing demands.

Last September, the government tabled the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) in which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the country would emerge as a high-income nation in 2025 with a better quality of life alongside high technology following the implementation of reforms.

Under the 12MP, the Young Agropreneur Programme will be implemented to attract and retain youth participation in agriculture,

A dedicated strategy as well as initiatives on smart farming will also be introduced to help propel economic growth

Commenting on retaining youth participation, Sarena said it would require a whole-of-society approach as it takes the whole ecosystem to both attract and retain young farmers.

“The public, private sector, and the government will need to work together. For example, we can attract more young farmers to chilli farming via various government initiatives as per the best standards, by adopting MyGAP.

“But if there is no middle man to buy and transport the chillies to retailers, or when customers do not bother about the MyGAP certification, then it will discourage our young farmers from participating and conducting responsible agricultural practices.

Added value

“There is also the added value of our farm produce, which requires product research and development (R&D) efforts and marketing skills. We cannot expect our young farmers to address all these factors on their own,” she explained.

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