SERDANG, March 23 — The country’s agrofood sector needs to emphasis on the use of mechanisation, automation, modern and precision farming as well as other innovative technologies to increase productivity.
Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said this because sustainability in agricultural production and food industry is an important agenda in an effort to turn Malaysia into a food producer by using such technologies.
“New and unusual approaches are necessary to ensure that we can meet various food security challenges, including (during) the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said when officiating the 2021 National Agricultural and Food Engineering Convention (NAFEC), here today.
He said that the use of the standard operating procedures for paddy post-harvest loss developed by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) which could reduce the loss, from 28.5 per cent to only 7.9 per cent, clearly demonstrated the need of mechanisation to increase productivity.
Ronald also said that the use of mechanisation and automation as well as other latest technologies could attract young farmers and food entrepreneurs, apart from increasing productivity with efficient management.
“I believe that the presence of the younger generation will further enhance the profile of the agricultural sector as a dynamic, modern sector and on a par with other economic sectors,” he said.
At the event, Ronald also witnessed the exchange of a memorandum of understanding between MARDI and the Malaysian Society of Agricultural and Food Engineers (MSAE) to establish cooperation to develop the country’s agrofood engineering sector.
Also present were Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Haslina Abdul Hamid, MARDI director-general Datuk Dr Mohamad Roff Mohd Nor and MSAE president Prof Dr Rosnah Shamsudin.
At the event, Ronald also launched two books, namely, the ‘Teknologi Kejuruteraan Agromakanan MARDI’ and the first edition of the Advanced Agriculture and Food Research Journal by MSAE.
The ‘Teknologi Kejuruteraan Agromakanan MARDI’ features an evolution of agrofood engineering technology that has been developed since the establishment of MARDI in the 1980s, while the Advanced Agriculture and Food Research Journal is a scientific publication containing research findings related to latest technologies on agrofood.