FARMERS in Selangor have been given the assurance that existing plots of agricultural land will be protected so that they will not be taken up for other purposes, including housing development.
The assurance came from Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari, who said the state is already short of agricultural land with only 12% available for farming and it was not in a position to lose anymore of it. In the past, he said, agricultural land had been converted for housing and industries in Selangor.
In view of the state’s rising population, Amirudin said, there is need for land for housing and industry.
“Furthermore, rapid economic development has also led to higher land usage for new industries to help develop the state’s economy, making it one of the most vibrant in the country,” he said during a roundtable meeting with farmers associations.
However, Amirudin said, even with all the development, the state remained one of the top producers of food crops in the country and had been recognised by the Federal Government for its contributions towards the agricultural sector.
He said Selangor has been declared a successful state for producing 43% of the country’s total production under the Taman Kekal Pengeluaran Makanan programme of the state agriculture department.
“The Selangor Agricultural Department received the Golden Innovative Award 2017 under the Veggy Factory project for developing the concept of vegetable farming in buildings with artificial lighting.
“The Selangor Fruit Valley project under the Selangor Agricultural Development Board was also a success as it won a gold award at the Agro Tourisim Experience Malaysia event in 2017,” he said, adding that the success could have been achieved without the collective effort of all involved, especially farmers.
Amirudin said various efforts had been launched with the aim of getting the younger generation more involved in the agriculture sector, adding that technology now played a key role in the development of the sector and the involvement of the younger generation is vital for future growth.
“During a trip to Jalan Kebun in Klang recently, I met many youngsters with paper qualification in various fields including engineering and aeronautical sciences who have ventured into farming.
“This is a good sign and hope we will able to move towards modern farming quickly so that the lack of agricultural land in the state can be overcome.
“Use of technology will help us produce higher volumes and better quality crops,” he said.
Meanwhile, Amirudin said the roundtable meeting was aimed at getting feedback from farming and agricultural associations to achieve improvement in various areas related to farming.