I REFER to Datuk Dr John Anthony Xavier’s article in the New Straits Times titled (“Lest we abandon agriculture” — Nov 24).
He suggested that: “dynamic agricultural practices and policies can foster rural development and can even stem the flow of rural migrants to cities in search of employment”.
He also touched on Nobel-prize winning economist Arthur Lewis’s economic model that made a deep impression on the minds of policymakers: the view that development is made easier by shifting people from agriculture to manufacturing.
This was economic liberalisation to many: doubling the manufacturing sector and shrinking the agricultural sector.
Is this sustainable economics? Is there a real need to double manufacturing to boost consumerism?
How will this create balance and sustainability?
Agriculture and manufacturing cannot be equated and compared in just dollar terms.
In some cases, agriculture has shrunk because it has been substituted with the growing of opium poppy.
In most countries, growing opium is a crime, but in some countries it is a major cash crop for impoverished farming communities.
We must honour those engaged in responsible manufacturing like medicine and food, and likewise, for agriculture.
In both sectors, what may hurt a nation’s economy and its people are irresponsible agriculture and manufacturing for greed.
It reveals a dire need to apply knowledge to change the unbecoming situation that threatens common economics.
MENA JEYARAM, Subang Jaya, Selangor