Imperative to move agriculture sector towards sustainability, entrepreneurship — Abang Johari

Abang Johari (on stage, seated left) speaking during the dialogue session this morning (Sept 27, 2020).

KUCHING, Sept 27: The application of technology would help to create more value and sustainability within the agriculture sector to help local farmers and entrepreneurs, emphasises Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to Abang Johari, Sarawak needs to shift from the traditional way of doing agriculture and utilise modern technologies available in order to have a sustainable agriculture business.

“Although the state’s food security is crucial, it is also important to diversify the state’s economy for the future by looking back at the state’s agriculture sector and transform it by using technology and turning it into a sustainable sector,” he said.

The chief minister said this during the ‘Sunday Morning With the Chief Minister: Dialogue Session With the Young Entrepreneurs’ programme at a local hotel here today.

He pointed out that the demand for food, in Asia especially, will increase alongside with population growth.

He noted that in Asia alone, the population is more than three billion, where the demand for food is great, and at the same time one cannot sell food that is very expensive because it will deter demand.

In other words, he continued, demand must match affordability, and in order to fix a particular price, the process must be efficient, where yields must be high.

“That is where technology comes in. For Sarawak, we agree towards that (approach), but give me time as it cannot be immediate, because firstly, we need the infrastructure and secondly, the mindset of our farmers (must also be prepared).

“It has to be an entrepreneur, the kind of person who keeps on leading and applying the technology in order to create value in our agriculture. That is what we want, and it takes time to adopt this approach.

“That is the reason the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) was formed, in order to establish the digital technology infrastructure throughout Sarawak,” he added. — DayakDaily