Selangor Journal
Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari (second, right) together with Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli (second, left) picking chillies after a site visit to the Agro Entrepreneur Initiative (Intan) @ PJ City Food Valley at Pangsapuri Pelangi Damansara, Petaling Jaya, on March 21, 2023. — Picture by HAFIZ OTHMAN/SELANGORKINI

MB: Local authorities to identify land for crop fertigation

By Zareef Muzammil

PETALING JAYA, March 22 — Local authorities in Selangor are urged to identify vacant land within its jurisdictions that can be utilised for fertigation agricultural initiatives, says Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari.

The Menteri Besar said that the measure is to support the Agro Entrepreneur Initiative (Intan), which is a key component of the Federal government’s Inisiatif Pendapatan Rakyat (IPR) programme.

“We want to ensure that it (Intan) succeeds and, most importantly, meets the goal. Therefore, I urge the local authorities to identify between 20 to 50 acres of land (for fertigation crop projects). (The land) It doesn’t have to be under the purview of TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad) and the government.

“I hope it can be put into practice and become the best model for boosting people’s income.,” he said in his speech during the launch of IPR Intan @ PJ City Food Valley at Pangsapuri Kos Rendah Pelangi Damansara, here yesterday, which was officiated by Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.

Also present were Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS) group chief executive officer Dr Mohamad Khairil Mohamad Razi and Petaling Jaya mayor Mohamad Azhan Md Amir.

Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari (fifth, left) and Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli (fourth, left) pose with recipients of the Inisiatif Pendapatan Rakyat (IPR) during the lunch and site visit to the Agro Entrepreneur Initiative (Intan) @ PJ City Food Valley at Pangsapuri Pelangi Damansara, Petaling Jaya, on March 21, 2023. — Picture by HAFIZ OTHMAN/SELANGORKINI

Amirudin said the PJ City Food Valley, which focuses on chilli plants on 80 acres of land, has a much larger economic scale than the community gardens that had previously been established.

The fertigation chilli plant project is in collaboration with PKPS and the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

“Community gardens are more towards social interaction and leisure activity with a small economic cycle. However, PJ City Food Valley has its own economic scale. With the cooperation of PKPS and MBPJ, I think it can be done right away,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rafizi said about 60,000 acres of land are required to accommodate fertigation crop initiatives for the country’s 30,000 severely poor and low-income households (B40).

Therefore, he said that the federal government would boost cooperation with state administrations, agencies and land operators to ensure that the target for the Intan initiative is met.

“If we take into consideration the 30,000 individuals (under Intan), each person requires a plot of land between 0.25 acres or half an acre. Based on that estimate, we would need between 60,000 acres of land.

“That is why we are focusing on cooperation with various agencies in the country apart from utilising the land that is already in the federal government’s system. At one point, we will (cooperate with) the land operators themselves,” he told reporters when met after the launch.

Commenting on whether the government intends to expand the project to other crops, Rafizi said that the federal administration should consider several factors, such as location and long-term buyer demand.

“We want to ensure that business owners don’t have to assume all of the marketing and business risks on their own because sometimes when they get into crop production, the price fluctuates.

“When the price drops, (the entrepreneur) cannot market (the crops) and incur losses. That’s why after two harvests, they would give up. So we want to set up an ecosystem where buyers would make a long-term commitment to buy,” he added.

On February 25, Rafizi said that as part of the IPR initiative, the government will open up 800 acres of government land for agricultural purposes, providing opportunities for capital support and training.

Budget 2023 has allocated RM750 million to the Ministry of Economy to implement the initiative IPR, which includes several categories namely Intan, Food Entrepreneur Initiative (Insan) and Services Operator Initiative (Ikhsan).

The initiative aims to enable participants to earn between RM2,000 and RM2,500 per month during the 24-month monitoring period and allow them to generate their income.

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Editor Selangor Journal