Agriculture sector holds great potential for youths, Muhyiddin tells D-8 Summit

PETALING JAYA: A mindset shift among Malaysian youth has increased their involvement in agriculture, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Prime Minister said local youths have started to realise agriculture holds a promising future.

"Smart farming has rapidly become the future of agriculture.

"The food supply chain can be improved by introducing enabling technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or traceability systems, that have the potential to increase food safety and production transparency," he said on Thursday (April 8) during the 10th Summit of the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (D-8).

The virtual summit was hosted by Bangladesh.

The theme for this year's summit is "Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology”.

The six other countries in the D-8 are Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

The six areas of economic cooperation under the D-8 are trade, agriculture and food security, industrial cooperation and SMEs, transportation, energy and minerals, and tourism.

Muhyiddin also said the Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted a newfound sense of urgency to the digital inclusion agenda.

"While the crisis had enabled hundreds of millions to work, learn and connect digitally, it is easy to see how it has also exacerbated the situation for far too many people in vulnerable situations around the world.

"Now, more than ever, connectivity should be at the core of all national and international priorities – from healthcare to education, government services and beyond," he said.

He added the government had recently announced a Digital Transformation Roadmap to expand and improve Malaysia's digital connectivity.

Muhyiddin added that Malaysia believes IoT is a rapidly developing industry that would boost member states' economies and be the key driver in transforming the global economy post-pandemic.

He also said there is an urgent need for all of them to work together to accelerate the development and production of vaccines and assure equitable and affordable access to vaccines for all.

He said that in view of the vaccine rollout, Malaysia proposed having a Reciprocal Covid-19 Vaccine Certificate Recognition among D-8 member states, which he believed would speed up the reopening of the hardest-hit sectors.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the life and livelihood of our people, and has triggered an alarm specifically on the issue of poverty. I take this opportunity to urge D-8 member states to work together to address this issue collectively.

"Malaysia’s main focus, under its poverty eradication strategy, has been on income generation, expansion of education and training facilities, employment generation, and modernisation of rural life as well as improvement in living conditions," he said.

The D-8 Secretariat based in Istanbul, Turkey, is led by Datuk Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, the first Malaysian to hold the secretary-general's position.

He was appointed in January 2018.

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