Sarawak to use digital technology in improving agriculture sector

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (second left) presenting a grant of RM3mil from the state government to Universiti Putra Malaysia chairman Tengku Syarif Laksamana Perlis Datuk Seri DiRaja Syed Razlan Syed Putra Jamalullail for the university's AgriHub@Gedong paddy planting project. - Photo: ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak's agriculture sector will be further developed using digital technology to improve food production in line with the state's goal of becoming a net food exporter by 2030, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Sarawak Premier said agriculture was one of the sectors identified as an engine of growth in the state's post-Covid-19 development strategy toward achieving high-income status by 2030.

"We want to develop sustainable agriculture which not only produces food but embraces the latest technology in terms of production," he said when opening a sustainable agriculture and food security congress here on Wednesday (Sept 21).

In view of this, Abang Johari said the state Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Ministry was now renamed the Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Ministry to underscore the importance of food production.

He said the state was setting up agro parks which would be subdivided for the private sector to come in and develop suitable crops.

"The agro parks will be equipped with the necessary infrastructure, including digital infrastructure to enable the Internet of Things (IoT) to be deployed," he said.

Abang Johari also the state government was emphasising the digital transformation of agriculture, with technology as the key to increasing production.

"Agriculture can no longer be seen as a poor man's job with a 'cangkul' (hoe), hat and difficult life.

"We have to change the perception to see agriculture as an industry, whereby land is an asset and technology is the process," he said.

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