Counting on tech to boost farming sector

Zahari says Johor needs to intensify commercialisation of agricultural activities.

MALAYSIA will be turning to the latest technology and innovations to help roll out the National Food Security Policy Action Plan 2021-2025, says Johor exco member Datuk Zahari Sarip.

“The Covid-19 crisis has prompted an evolution in the agricultural sector.

“It has pushed farmers to introduce new systems such as hanging fertigation, packaging machines for fruits and seeds as well as seed-planting machines which have reduced their working hours while increasing output.

“We need to intensify our efforts in research, development and commercialisation of agricultural activities so that we can produce higher quality products,” said the Johor agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development committee chairman when contacted.

“We also need to ensure that food production is sustainable under any circumstance,” he added.

Zahari said the state had allocated RM250,000 to Kluang Farmers Association to help them build a farmers’ market.

“It will help 50 petty traders and 170 farmers sell their products and produce and generate more income.”

Johor government was also planning to develop a dairy factory called Jemaluang Dairy Valley which can produce seven million litres of milk annually, he said.

“The project will be introduced in October by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and is expected to be fully completed by 2025,” said Zahari.

Separately, Johor Agriculture Department director Alang Mad Daud Dawan said the department was studying the use of robotics and computerisation which could be controlled and monitored via smartphones.

“The aim is to reduce farmers’ workload, besides helping them to produce higher quality goods for export.

“One of our programmes is Innovation Day which rewards farmers who have managed to come up with a system or idea that can be emulated by other farmers in the country,” he said.

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