By Ashwin Kumar
SHAH ALAM, June 6 — The Selangor Agro Icon is on the cards as the state government plans to empower farmers to become trainers in the agriculture industry to increase and improve crop production and yield, says Izham Hashim.
The State Public Amenities, Agricultural Modernisation and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman said the initiative aims to train modern farmers and equip them with the latest technology and farming knowledge.
“The objective of the programme is to identify 10 farmers who are into modern farming in Selangor and turn them into teachers or mentors to encourage more young participants in the agriculture sector.
“The Selangor Agor Icon is open to farmers eligible under the regulations set by the agriculture committee. Farmers practising modern farming and proven to be successful would be selected as an icon.
“The state government will audit and assist them in the form of financial schemes and they will mentor other farmers. We will choose the icons from various categories which include crop cultivation, livestock production and fish farming,” he told Selangor Journal in a recent exclusive interview.
The programme, which comes under the Selangor Agro Transformation Plan (PeTA), will be launched soon in collaboration with the Selangor Agro TV.
“The plan is part of state government’s effort to achieve the Smart Selangor 2025 goals,” he said.
Izham also revealed that the state administration is in the final stage to set up a centre of excellence (COE) for agriculture to spur farm produce in the state.
“This is to help farmers in gathering skills and Research and Developments (R&D) in agriculture that would be expanded state-wide.
“The COE will be tasked to get inputs from the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) and public universities to enable farmers to upgrade and modernise their farms. At the moment, we are the midst of deciding on whether to establish the COE under my committee or we let it operate as a government-linked company,” he said.