KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is ready to assist agricultural entrepreneurs to adapt to the use of technology towards smart farming.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the high cost involved at the initial stage of obtaining the technology was one of the limitations faced by agricultural entrepreneurs, although the country had the availability of the technology.

He said although the application of technology towards smart farming involved high costs initially, it should reduce when the industry matures, thus making it more sustainable than conventional agriculture.

“The entrepreneurs are ready to venture into smart farming if several incentives are given to technologies that may be a bit more costly at the initial stage,” he said.

He said this at a media conference after chairing an engagement session on smart farming with stakeholders, comprising representatives from ministries, departments, agencies and industries at the Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA) here today.

Dr Adham said that the government, through Agrobank, also provided loans totalling RM800 million that can be used to make it easier for agricultural entrepreneurs to obtain financing for technological development towards smart farming.

He added that entrepreneurs who failed to get bank loans could still obtain assistance through agencies like Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP) for equity investment or Malaysia Debt Venture (MDV) for financing technological companies that find it difficult to get commercial financing.

Elaborating on the engagement session with the stakeholders, Dr Adham said MOSTI, together with several agencies, would develop an application called ecosystem retailer to bring change value so that products could be sold on time, thus reducing wastage.

The session also discussed the adaptation of the use of technology introduced by MOSTI that has the potential to attract the interest of more youngsters, thus cultivating it as one of the elements of food security compared to conventional farming methods.

“The engagement session also discussed efforts to assist in ensuring the huge amount of food imports each year can be reduced with the full use of technology in all fields, be it in urban or rural areas,” he said.

He said this technology-based solution was MOSTI’s support for the continuation of efforts that are being, and have been, carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI).

“The product and technology identified by MOSTI will be discussed continuously and in more detail with the relevant ministries, such as MAFI, Ministry of Housing and Local Government and the Federal Territories Ministry to ensure it can be successfully implemented,” he said.

Commenting on the MOSTI Technology Solutions Operations Room initiative launched on June 10, he said a series of 12 meetings had been held in several locations aimed at obtaining feedback regarding technology to assist in tackling the issue of food security in the country.


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