MEDAC mulls helping youths venture into food farming

Wan Junaidi (right) visiting a local entrepreneur Ahmad Safiq Ahmad Sabirin's gronong chilli site at TKPM.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, June 13: The Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry (MEDAC) is planning to help Malaysian youths to venture into food farming to turn the country into a food production hub.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the ministry has completed its study and paperwork, which they will bring forward to the Cabinet end of this month.

“The plan which includes grant, funding, loan, training, monitoring and more will give an opportunity for the young or small entrepreneurs to grow.

“As mentioned by our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg before, our Sarawak government is now aggressively moving into agriculture on a big scale.

“This is specially meant for ‘food security’ in the state.  While we supply for Sarawak, at the same time, we can also supply for other states in Malaysia and even overseas such as Singapore,”  Wan Junaidi said during his visit to the Permanent Food Production Park (TKPM) at Rampangi, today.

He added that currently the country is still importing billions of ringgit worth of vegetables and fruits, which could have been grown locally.

Wan Junaidi said that MEDAC had also begun a strategic collaboration with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry to implement youth entrepreneurship programmes, especially for the higher learning institution students and graduates as well as youths.

He revealed that each year, about 300,000 students graduated from universities or colleges in Malaysia.

“Out of 300,000, perhaps half of them will continue their studies or successfully gained employment, while the other half ended up being jobless or they seek employment elsewhere (overseas).

“Therefore we need to help them. We can groom and guide them, provided they are interested. My ministry have the training facilities and there is a lot of funding available as well, including existing facilities such as SME Corp, SME Bank, Tekun and Bank Rakyat,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi lauded a local entrepreneur Ahmad Safiq Ahmad Sabirin for the latter’s hard work and persistence to succeed in his chilli business.

Ahmad Safiq is one of the farmers who took up a space at TKPM to plant gronong chilli using modern technology (fertilisation) in Petra Jaya. –DayakDaily