Mardi expects agricultral sector to grow by 15pc this year

, Sept 21 — Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) expects the production level growth trajectory for the agricultural sector to continue at a comfortable 15 per cent this year, with new technology and machinery being key drivers.

Its Director, Centre for Strategic Planning and Innovation Management, Dr Rozhan Abu Dardak, said production levels increased each year with the industry contributing approximately RM40 billion to the country’s 2016 gross domestic product.

He was speaking at the recent Italy- Agricultural Machinery Forum organised by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Federation.

The forum gave the industry stakeholders new insight into how Italian technology and innovation are raising the bar in farm mechanisation to enable greater yield for the agriculture sector, according to a statement by ITA today.

“More advanced mechanisation will help increase yield, capacity and productivity. We must transform the industry in Malaysia from the conventional labour-intensive to one that is technology-based,” he said.

Rozhan said technology and innovation were vital to ensure the industry evolved, not only to improve productivity, but also address labour shortage concerns in this industry.

Previously, 10 to 50 workers were needed to tend one hectare of plantation land and now with advanced technology, only one or two workers were needed in some areas, he said.

“As such, our relationship with Italian agri-manufacturers is certainly a symbiotic one,” he added.

Italy, ranked second in the world as exporters of agriculture machinery and equipment, currently has a five per cent of Malaysia’s total imports amounting to €7 million (1€ = RM4.99), according to ITA. — Bernama

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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