State committed to arming industry players with new, modern approaches to agriculture

Uggah (centre) looking through the conference programme notes with participants at the opening ceremony.

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, Oct 23: The state government is committed to equipping industry players with the latest technology and practices to sustain the state agriculture sector, whilst creating new competitive edges over close competitors from neighbouring countries.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said in the state’s effort to transform its agriculture sector, industry players must be ever willing to shift their paradigms to adopt and adapt to new, modern and more effective processes and practices.

Embracing modern technology relating to agriculture in line with the rapid changes happening around the world today is important to ensure Sarawak would become the preferred destination for investors and venture capitalists.

“The state has steadily gain more private sector participation through our commercialisation development programmes.

“It is therefore timely for the industry players to embrace digital technology in order to reap the benefits of modern technology,” he said when officiating at the opening of the International Conference on Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Sarawak (ICAAS) at Penview Convention Centre here today.

The two-day conference, held in conjunction with Sarawak AgroFest 2018, features 40 prominent local and international speakers including industry experts with a keynote presentation focussing on smart farming and application of new technologies in the entire agriculture supply and value chain.

Participants will learn how to harness the power of digital technology for real-time decision making and smart agriculture applications to transform the agriculture industry into a modern, competitive and sustainable sector.

A special Sarawak Farming Pavilion was also set up to display the latest modern technology for the agricultural sector.

A section of the 1,500 delegates that attended ICASS 2018 at Penview Convention Centre.

Uggah, who is also Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, said ICAAS 2018, with its theme “Transforming the agriculture sector through smart farming”, is timely in the supporting the state’s effort to actively promoting the importance of modern technology.

The conference will provide a platform for industry players to acquire, share and exchange knowledge and experience to keep abreast with domestic and global agricultural trends.

“ICASS 2018 has invited esteemed speakers from various countries and field expertise to share best practices in smart or precision farming and successful business models, public-private sector partnerships, farmers’ organisations and agro-entrepreneurs in commercialising the agriculture sector.

“It is therefore, our hope that participants and delegates could adopt best practices, knowledge and successful business models and eventually contributed to the state’s effort to modernise and commercialise the agriculture sector,” Uggah continued.

The goal is to make Sarawak a prominent agricultural hub in the region and at the same time, narrow the economic gap between the rural and urban populace, he pointed out.

About 1,500 delegates from public and private institutions and organisations participated in the conference. — DayakDaily