MAFI intensifies efforts to lure young people into agriculture

KUALA LUMPUR: The rebranding of agro-food with modern agriculture is one of the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) to encourage the involvement of young talent in the agriculture sector.

Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah said it involved, among others, mechanisation, automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) to increase production and revenue.

“Besides that, creating an optimal source of industrial workforce through the integration of graduates and real jobs with practical training and apprenticeships,“ he said during the question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat here today.

He was replying to a question from Datuk Mohd Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) who had wanted to know MAFI’s strategic plan to rejuvenate the agriculture sector in order to attract the participation of youths and produce more young agropreneurs.

Realising that young people are more open towards technology, especially in the IR4.0 era, Ahmad said the ministry planned to develop a highly skilled workforce in the agriculture sector.

Ahmad said among the action plans were to develop a workforce database and to encourage and facilitate universities and local experts to adopt holistic training programmes.

“Other plans are developing human capital and expertise to support the implementation of new technologies; providing scholarship platforms in the field of agro-food and upgrading agro-food training centres and universities with modern ICT facilities and networks,” he said.

He said other measures were to develop a transition programme for non-agriculture graduates who are interested in venturing into the agro-food sector, as well as train and employ Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates as technology transfer agents.

MAFI would also continue the implementation of the Young Agropreneur Programme which has proven to be successful in helping young people in agriculture through grants, loans and trainings, he added.-Bernama