PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian agricultural industry players have the opportunity now to participate in the sharing of best agriculture technology practices by leading agriculture companies through the Virtual Agrotechnology Extension (VAE) 2021 launched today.
The two-day programme from today, organised by the Agriculture Department, has attracted the participation of 3,000 people who have access to the webinar sessions and briefings by overseas industry players, besides visiting the digital booths and getting fresh agriculture produce and agro-based industrial products online.
Agriculture and Food Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the VAE 2021 programme encouraged the participation of industries under the crop sub-sectors to provide business opportunities on a contract farming basis through business matching with the producers of agricultural products for both the domestic and export markets.
“The VAE 2021 could help the ministry expand and empower the marketing of agriculture produce through the e-commerce platform to enhance the marketability and availability of agriculture products for the domestic and international markets,” he said in a statement today.
Prior to this, the Agriculture Department had organised a collaboration programme since 2018 and managed to garner agriculture produce contracts exceeding RM10 million and VAE 2021 is the latest programme introduced in the context of developing the latest agriculture technology.
The VAE 2021 will be broadcast for 30 days with digital exhibitions that can be accessed via www.vae2021.com or on all the Agriculture Department’s social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube Agriculture TV for the benefit of more people.
It involves strategic cooperation with the private sector and the participation of outside companies like from the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea and South Africa to share their latest agriculture technology expertise through several special presentations like Climate Control Farming Technology and Integrated Pest Management in Biological Control and Incubator Technology and Water Treatment Technology.
Ronald said the agro-food sector contributed a growth of 6.8 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to RM51.3 billion in 2020 compared with RM28.3 billion in 2011 with the agriculture sub-sector continuing to be the main contributor at RM24.1 billion compared with the other sub-sectors in the agro-food sector.
He said productivity and agriculture products could be further increased through the use of smart agriculture technology like precision farming, material Internet big data, artificial intelligence, chain blocks, drones for mapping activities, seed distribution, pesticide and fertiliser spraying.
“The use of technology can contribute to improving the quality and quantity of crops, which in turn can increase productivity overall,” he said.
He added that focus would also be given to enhancing the technical competency of agriculture development officers so that they would be able to implement the transfer of technology to the food producers as well as creating a conducive environment for technology acceptance among the target groups. — Bernama