KOTA KINABALU: A concerted effort is underway to get younger Malaysians to venture into the lucrative agriculture and food production activities through an MCA Youth initiative.
The national movement has set up a cooperative to help those below the age of 50 to venture into farming and other food cultivation activities which had yet to be fully tapped in this country.
It has been estimated that if all Malaysians do not eat durian for one year and these were exported to China, it would still not be enough to meet demand, said MCA Youth chief Senator Chong Sin Woon.
“If we look at the price of resources such as petroleum and minerals, these have dropped in recent times while the cost of food is going up,” he added.
He said the Malaysian Youth Farmers Cooperative that was registered before the Chinese New Year holidays would strive to create awareness among youths about the potential income from agro-based activities.
“Youths have to realise the agro sector is not just about cultivation of vegetables and fruits. It has to do with food security as well,” Chong said after attending the Sabah MCA Chinese New Year open house at Menggatal.
He said youths should utilise land, which Malaysia has plenty of, for food cultivation.
Chong added the cooperative, would among others, help members obtain land for agro activities from the government or private sector.
In addition, the cooperative would also help members secure financing from various government agencies or financial institutions.
"We will also help members obtain the latest agricultural technology and techniques," he added.
Chong said the cooperative would also assist its members in marketing their produce.
"That is why our initial focus would be to determine exactly what type of agriculture produce are the most sought after in nearby markets such as Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and China," Chong added.
He said MCA Youth would be embarking on a campaign to recruit members for the cooperative.
Membership of the cooperative is RM50 with a minimum initial investment of RM100.