SERDANG, April 22 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday outlined seven principles that would boost further the agricultural sector so that it would be more dynamic in line with the national food security policy.
The Prime Minister said the move, which would also refresh the agricultural sector, was also part of the preparation and plan to reduce the effects of three forms of threats to the world in future.
He said the three threats were security of food supply and the rise in food prices, energy security and the threat posed by global warming and climatic change.
“In line with the food security policy, we must look at how we can give a new injection to the agricultural sector so that it will be more dynamic and fresh in terms of its growth and image,” he said when delivering his message at the Assembly of Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen, here.
Also present was the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Seri Noh Omar.
At the function, Najib also launched the Agricultural Corps, a group comprising those involved in agriculture and the AgriBazaar portal, to promote business and trade among producers and suppliers of agricultural produce and products, on line.
Referring to the seven principles, he said the first principle was on technology whereby for each plot of land that had been disposed off for agriculture, a study must be carried out to increase yield to be derived from the land.
As an example, he said farmers should use seedlings that had been developed through research and development (R&D) by Mardi and other agencies, as well as the use of new technology by fishermen to increase fish landings compared with the use of reefs previously.
Najib said farmers, breeders and fishermen must also continue to adopt the principles of best practice in agriculture and discard the practice of t.t.t, “tanam, tinggal, tuai” or plant, leave and reap, which would not be in line with the principles of best practice.
He said the third principle was to look at the plot of land in terms of economic size, to work on a plot of land that would give economic returns to the farmer and to look at development of land in clusters.
Najib said the fourth principle was a marketing network that would benefit the producers, namely the farmers.
“That’s why I welcome the move by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry to launch its AgriBazaar portal today. Hopefully, we can achieve a wider market within and outside the country through this cyber space,” he said.
In addition, having a full fledged infrastructure, such as having a good irrigation system could increase yield while construction of estate roads and minor roads could help in taking the agricultural produce to the market.
“The sixth principle is to move away from low-value agriculture to high-value agriculture. This is recommended to those venturing in seaweed, ornamental fish breeding, breeders of swiftlets and so on,” he said.
He said the seventh principle was work ethics and culture, and with the launch of the Agricultural Corps today, it was hoped that transformation in agriculture could be achieved and that the younger generation could be attracted to venture into agriculture.
The Agricultural Corps is made up of young people who will assist the ministry and the target groups in welfare work and provide voluntary services especially in times of natural disasters such as the flood and landslides.
Source : Bernama