KUCHING, September 21 - The Ministry of Agricultural Modernization and Regional Development (MANRED) is now rebranded as the Ministry of Food Industry, Commodities and Regional Development.

This is according to the Sarawak Premier, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Openg during the completion of the Congress on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security (COSAFS2022) which took place from 21 to 24 September 2022 at The Waterfront Hotel, here, this morning. 

"Agriculture is an agent of economic growth with rapid product production and we need to identify market access to increase productivity and food quality. 

"The influence of technological advancement is important for this purpose as part of the main production process and land as an asset assisted by digital infrastructure with the help of 5G technology for real-time implementation, thus upgrading digital transformation agriculture. 

Earlier, UPM Vice-Chancellor Professor Dato' Dr. Mohd Roslan Sulaiman explained that Universiti Putra Malaysia has been ranked 132nd worldwide through QS World University Rangkings 2021, in addition to being ranked 28th best in Asia in QS Asia University Rankings and 10th best in the world for universities under 50 through QS Top 50 under 50. 

"UPM strives to strengthen its position as a research university through successive research transformations that have shaped academic excellence, innovation and community engagement. 

"COSAFS2022 is the patron of three International Conferences held simultaneously, namely the International Scientific Conference on Indigenous Crops 2022 (ISCIC2022), the International Conference on Fisheries and Animal Sciences 2022 (FISAS2022), and the International Conference on Food and Industrial Crops 2022 (ICFIC2022). 

At the same time, Minister of Food Industry, Commodities and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said farmers need to be developed to become high-income farmers in stages by safeguarding their interests through individuals, private sector involvement, partnerships, and communities. 

"Their standard of living needs to be transformed into modern farmers with the help of technology and not just through the help of government subsidies but also provide an opportunity to be more initiative to produce higher productivity and get good returns. 

"This food supply chain needs to be equipped not only to provide a planned ecosystem, so this congress was held to share knowledge, generate ideas and experiences that can be applied to farmers practically to help Sarawak achieve its goal of being a food exporter by 2030," he added. 

The congress involved 300 participants among academics, research scientists, policymakers, officials from the public and private sectors with keynote lectures, oral presentations and posters highlighting solutions and proposals in aspects related to agriculture and food security. 

In the same ceremony, there was also an exchange of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UPM and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus as well as the symbolic handover of AgriHub@Gedong project funds. 

The Sarawak government has agreed to approve the RM3 million, a paddy transformation project in Gedong, AgriHub@Gedong as a prelude towards smart farming practices in Sarawak considering the expected food crisis and worryingly, the approach to increasing food production is the right move.



Date of Input: 27/09/2022 | Updated: 27/09/2022 | lanz



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