‘Use modern technology to increase food production’

Posted on : 20 Dec 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (third left) looks at a drone on display.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawak has to increase its food production to meet the increasing demand for food in the South East Asia region and Asia as a whole, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has said.

He, however, said this objective can be achieved if farmers used modern technology.

“Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole must export agriculture produce because according to reports we need about US$800 million to produce food to meet the needs in Asia alone.

“By the year 2050, the population of the world is expected to be about seven billion and half of this are in Asia – India, China, East Asia and Asean. That one is already about 4.3 billion, and from Kuching to all these places it is only about five hours’ flight,” he said at the opening of the 2nd International Conference of Computer & Drone Applications (IconDA) at UiTM Sarawak here yesterday.

Abang Johari said Asia alone is a huge market for Sarawak and Malaysia, and based on statistics, in terms of food security Singapore is Number one while Malaysia is Number 10 though it should be the other way round as Singapore has no land.

“There is something wrong somewhere. Therefore, once we have identified that there is something wrong in terms of production of food, that we are not productive, we have to take necessary action,” he said.

“I have been taking about food over the last two to three years. We have increased our production, but this must be done with technology application,” he said.

Abang Johari said when he took over as chief minister, he had tried to transform and imagine what type of economy Sarawak was heading to.

He believed that to have a successful economy, the state must have big market but cautioned that the market nowadays is not like the market before.

“We can extend the market today, provided of course you have to provide the information as well as to entice the consumers by your products. Knowing the technology available today, I think it is only appropriate that Sarawak has no choice but to adopt technology,” he said.