KUALA TERENGGANU: Youths who are engaged in the plantation field are encouraged to be involved in research in order to benefit from the development of mechanisation and automation technologies in the sector.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (pix) said that with research, farmers are not only able to use existing technology, but also able to create a new one.

“They (youths) are also encouraged to get involved in research so that they will not only know how to use machines but can create suitable machines in the plantation sector like oil palm, rubber and so on,“ he told reporters after meeting with alumni of the Federation of Peninsular Malay Students (GPMS) here yesterday.

Fadillah, who is also Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said the use of mechanisation and automation technologies in the plantation sector could also increase income, thus attracting the involvement of more youths in the sector.

He said the strategy could also reduce the country's dependence on foreign workers in the plantation sector.

Fadillah said young people also need to realise that plantation field could give them a decent salary, especially if they have skills.

He added that this was proven when Sime Darby Plantation was able to employ 70 per cent of local workers due to the use of mechanised technology.

“There are those who earn an average of RM3,000 a month even though they only have a vocational certificate. Salaries depend on knowledge and skills. If you have skills, you will be paid accordingly,“ he said. -Bernama