The International Seminar on Cultivating the Young Generation of Farmers with Farmland Policy Implication was successfully held in MARDI Serdang from May 26th – 28th. MARDI as being part of the technical member in Food and Fertilizer Technology Centre (FFTC), was given the honour to co-organize and co-sponsor this seminar.
This event was particularly led by PTJ PB and CC, the secretariat in Malaysia. Ten countries from the Asia Pasific Region participated in this seminar, namely from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philipines, Taiwan, Thailand and Viet Nam with total participants of 14. The main objective of the seminar is to find a better way for government to prepare the appropriate policies for young beginners to purchase or rent farmlands or for existing young farmers to increase their farmland scale. YBrs Dr. Umi Kalsom Abu Bakar, MARDI’s Deputy Director General as well as Dr. Rozhan Abu Dardak, the Director of Economic & Social Science Research Centre (ES) and observers from MOA and a few MARDI’s PTJ also attended the seminar.
The seminar is also a good platform to provide opportunities for the participants to share and exchange relevant information and knowledge necessary to formulate appropriate agricultural related policies applicable to each country and to the region. The organization of this seminar is timely since the aging problem among agricultural farmers is severe in this region which hampered farmers efforts in finding successors for their farming business. Among the topics discussed are i) Farmland policy for young generation: purchasing and leasing; ii) Farmland bank program for young generation; iii) Farmland scale-up policy for young generation; iv) Direct payment program for young generation to get appropriate farmland and; v) Farmland pension programme. Overall, this 3 days event consisted of 2 full days seminar and 1 day technical visit. The visit scheduled included to Herbs Garden in MAEPS, KMS Agronomy Sdn Bhd (young agriculture entrepreneur coached by MARDI); a rockmelon fertigation program and finally to Malaysian Tourism Centre (MaTiC) and KL seightseeing.
Concurrent with this International seminar, a local seminar, “Seminar Memupuk Generasi Muda Usahawantani 2015” was also held on May 26th where nearly 200 young local agropreneurs participated. The main target is to expose the young agropreneurs with the latest agriculture related technologies that can be used to benefit them. Other than that is to give them an understanding on the current issues that relates to agriculture sector such as farmland issues, capital needs and also government initiatives besides improving their networking with the industrial players. Some of the agroprenuers took the opportunity to promote their products at the exhibition designated area during the seminar. Both local and international seminars were officiated by the Deputy Secretary General for Policy, YBhg. Dato’ Azizan bin Mohamad Sidin from the Ministry of Agriculture & Agro-based Industry who together with the International delegates visited the exhibition by the local agropreneurs.