THANKS to digitalisation, agricultural jobs are no longer dirty, dangerous and difficult (3D).
The fast adoption of technology has made the sector a viable option for youths looking for a promising career, said Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.
Stressing the importance of a mindset shift, Radzi said the perception that agriculture is all about 3D work must change.
“That was in the past. We want society to see that agriculture is a field where we can gain income and riches.
“Today, there are so many technological tools and ways for us to improve productivity,” he said, adding that modern farming methods such as fertigation, which is the injection of fertilisers and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system, double productivity while minimising effort.
When technology improves, prospects for students – whether they want to be an agricultural entrepreneur or to just be involved in the sector – will keep growing too, he noted.
“Look at what the future holds and what we can improve on.
“It’s important for students to be exposed to the latest technology and to be aware of the kinds of crops and livestock that produce high yield or value,” he said when addressing some 800 vocational college and technical school students at the “Energising Education Transformation: Exploration of the Agriculture World” discourse on Aug 11.
The event was part of the recently concluded Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (Maha) 2022 expo that was held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).
With food security and supply now a global issue, Radzi said the agricultural sector would be even more important moving forward.
“Opportunities in the sector are too big for us to ignore.
“Despite what happens to a country’s economy, people around the world all still need food.
“This is where youths can step in to ensure that we can generate higher productivity (of crops and livestock),” he said.
Radzi, however, warned students against going abroad to work as illegal farmhands.
“If any of your friends invite you to work overseas without a valid visa after you finish your studies, please do not go. It is not worth the trouble,” he cautioned.
He said there are many cases of Malaysians traveling illegally to countries like Australia to pick apples.
Instead of venturing abroad, he said students should explore the many opportunities available within the country instead.
“Students need to be confident of their prospects in this sector,” he said.