27 Jun 2019 . News
Hi-tech contract farming at NCER for better returns, incomes

PUTRAJAYA, June 27 (Bernama) — High-tech contract farming will be implemented at the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) to provide better returns and increase farmers’ incomes, said the regional development authority Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA).

For the initiative, NCIA will introduce the anchor company business model, an approach driven by the private sector as nucleus farms, to provide the satellite farms with technical training, improved processes and strategic inputs to move farming activities up the value chain, with the ultimate arrangement to buy back the produce.

“The adoption of the contract farming model will provide a competitive advantage for farmers with the advent of smart farming and precision farming leading to improved agricultural practices and yields,” said NCIA in a statement today.

The NCER development and strategic plans were deliberated upon at the NCIA 21st Council Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad here today.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

NCIA chief executive Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John in the statement said the brand and presence of established anchor companies would provide fertile grounds for new investment opportunities to reinvigorate the agricultural sector and create visible spillover effects for the community, notably with the rise of agrotourism supplementing the incomes of the farming community.

He said NCIA was progressively moving towards transforming the agriculture sector in NCER through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), which entails the adoption of digital agriculture in precision farming with the help of big data and improvement of mechanisation.

Today’s meeting reported that NCER was on track to deliver its RM12 billion committed investment target for this year, having already attracted RM8.7 billion worth of investments and creating 7,931 jobs as of June this year, the statement said.

It was also reported that the strategic and high-impact projects in NCER, namely the Kedah Rubber City (KRC), Kedah Science and Technology Park (KSTP) and Chuping Valley Industrial Area (CVIA), were making progressive strides with the first phases of implementation starting at the end of this year and investments rolling in by the third quarter of 2020.