Govt aims to fortify TVET in agriculture to ensure food security - Mohamad Sabu

SERDANG: The government aims to fortify the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme in the agriculture sector, by increasing the number of graduates, to ensure the nation's food security.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said that currently there are only an estimated 600 graduates in the sector each year.

He emphasised that the ministry aims to not only attract more students to pursue agricultural studies but to also encourage graduates from diverse disciplines to actively contribute to the sector.

"We are not operating in silos. We have discussed with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the National TVET Council Committee chairman, on measures to encourage participation and produce more graduates in this field.

"However, we recognise that many young people are now more interested in the gig economy because the income is faster.

"But this is part of efforts to sustain the agriculture and food industry in Malaysia," he told reporters after the opening of the Ekspo Pakar Pertanian at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) today.

Elaborating on the ministry's focus this year, Mohamad highlighted that the four industrial developments to be prioritised are rice and paddy; chicken, duck, and eggs; red onion, and pineapple.

For the rice wave initiative launched this year, the target is to increase the country's rice self-sufficiency level to at least 80 percent to reduce dependence on exports in the next 10 years.

He further noted that the cultivation of "bukit" and "huma" paddy in Sabah and Sarawak will be enhanced through the allocation of funds to ensure a steady supply of agricultural inputs.

Mohamad also mentioned that the ministry will collaborate with Iran on research and the exchange of Arian chicken breeding technology, which holds promising potential to address market demands.

The second edition of the three-day Ekspo Pakar Pertanian, which started on March 1, serves as a platform for the sustainability of the entire food supply ecosystem and showcases innovations, practices, and technologies in the agricultural sector. – BERNAMA

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