KUCHING: The Sarawak government will work with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to improve agriculture and food production through research and technology.
Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this would contribute towards the state's goal of becoming a net food exporter by 2030, besides attracting the younger generation to venture into farming.
"Our weakness in agriculture is in production, which is inefficient and doesn't produce high quality food. Now is the time for us to use digital methods and technology," he told reporters after launching Unimas' convocation at its campus in Kota Samarahan near here on Monday (June 27).
In this respect, Abang Johari said he had requested Unimas to set up a lab in a rural area to train young farmers to use new agriculture methods such as the Internet of Things (IOT).
"We have to change the perception of agriculture as a difficult job to one that involves the use of technology in order to attract the young," he said.
Abang Johari said Unimas could also conduct studies on coconut and pineapple in the Sebuyau and Sebangan areas, including how to improve yield and downstream potential.
"For example, we can look into producing tinned pineapple and pineapple jam.
"Yield is also important. If we want good yield, we have to use technology," he said.
In addition, Abang Johari said he had requested Unimas to do research on producing fertiliser and livestock feed from raw materials available in the state, such as palm oil waste.
He said this would reduce the state's reliance on imported feed and fertiliser.