Cooperative on huge recruitment drive

Productive greens: Chong (fifth from left), Indera Mahkota MCA division Youth chief Quek Tai Seong (third from right) and other members of the cooperative visiting one of the farms in Kuantan.

KUANTAN: The newly-formed Malaysian Youth Farmers Cooperative will be going on an aggressive campaign to recruit members to participate in agriculture and food production.

MCA Youth chief Senator Chong Sin Woon said so far, 55 youths had already signed up and invested a minimum of RM100 in shares under the co-operative.

Chong said they had targeted to recruit at least 1,000 members over the next three months.

“This cooperative is an avenue to help farmers address the issue of middlemen making excessive profits.

“Consumers will also stand to gain as presently, prices of farm produce in the market are quite high,” he said after visiting several farms accompanied by Indera Mahkota MCA division youth chief Quek Tai Seong and Jaya Gading Farm Sdn Bhd managing director Yap Kim Hwah.

Chong said four major areas had been listed out to help kickstart and expand the effectiveness of the cooperative in the long term.

He said it was important to identify areas around the country which had been left idle.

“We will then initiate measures to help secure bank loans from entities such as Agro Bank and SME Corporation for members to embark on the projects.

“Thirdly, research cooperation and advice will be sought to produce high yields crops and increase productivity,” he said, citing example of Universiti Putra Malaysia which had many experts and a good research centre but was under-utilised.

Chong said he had also visited several farms in Taiwan, recently, to learn of their farming ventures and would share information on latest agriculture technology and techniques.

He said marketing of produce was also another aspect which needed to be looked into and improved with new strategies locally and from overseas.

“We will explore and try to penetrate overseas market such as China which has a high population.

“If successful, oversupply of farm produce will no longer be an issue,” he said.

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