Learn business skills, farmers urged

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SERDANG: Modern farmers must be equipped with business management skills to be able to market their products, MCA Youth chief Datuk Chong Sin Woon said.

Chong, who was also Koperasi Petani Muda Malaysia (KPMM) chairman, said that anybody could become farmers and rear livestock but an important skill that they should master was business manage­ment.

“I think it is crucial. If you look at older farmers, they do not incor­porate the elements of modern management and their products could not be marketed well.

“Middlemen end up raking in a lot of profit,” he told a joint press conference with the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry at the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture & Agrotourism Show (Maha) 2016 here yesterday.

In order to provide technical support and skill, the cooperative is joining hands with the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry for the first time to attract more youths to join the National Agriculture Training Programme, which was launched in 2002.

“We hope the training can help the younger generation get involved in agriculture with skills in management. We will spread the word to our members and urge more youngsters to join the programme,” Chong said.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Nogeh Gumbek said the programme planned to recruit 500 youths for its next intake in January.

“Our objective is to promote skilled workers in agriculture and provide a platform for youths to continue their studies in the industry,” he said.

Since 2004, 4,391 students have graduated with certificates and diplomas from the programme from 14 certified training centres nationwide.