by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
AGROBANK signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian Technology Development Corp (MTDC) to promote entrepreneur development programme and further accelerate the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) technology practices in the Malaysian agriculture sector.
Agrobank chairman Datuk Mustapha Buang said the bank will provide financial funding of RM20 million for 200 entrepreneurs related to the agriculture sector identified by MTDC for the first phase of the entrepreneur development programme initiative.
Each entrepreneur will receive maximum RM100,000 funding, and technical assistance and mentorship from MTDC’s technical providers.
“The outlook for the agriculture sector for the next decade appears promising despite global challenges such as climate change, growing population and scarce resources.
“Therefore, by venturing into new business concept that involves technology, we believe this is how farming shall be conducted in the future and it has to begin from here. The IR4.0 practices have a bright future if wisely applied into the agricultural businesses,” he said during the signing ceremony in Putrajaya yesterday.
He said with the right guidance, this initiative will attract and encourage more young entrepreneurs into the agriculture sector and making it the new source of wealth in the few years to come.
Meanwhile, MTDC chairman Tan Sri Abd Rahman Mamat said this partnership will enable entrepreneurs to benefit from MTDC’s wide and extensive networks.
“This is because they will be provided with marketing and networking opportunities, and technology solutions for smart and modern farming.
“The Internet of Things will change how we view agriculture entirely. MTDC, as the strategic enabler for IR4.0, is committed to assisting all the entrepreneurs in the adoption of IR4.0 technologies developed by our local talents and resources,” he added.
The signing ceremony yesterday was also witnessed by Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.
Commenting on the partnership, Kiandee said various training programmes, including knowledge-sharing events to be co-organised between the two entities, are expected to accelerate the adoption of IR4.0 technologies, especially in the area of modern and smart farming.
“Entrepreneurs will be introduced to the usage of robots in smart farming, which will lead to better management and lower operational costs,” he noted.
Under the partnership, MTDC’s technical provider, Technopreneur Training Academy, is expected to provide entrepreneurship training to identified entrepreneurs.
MTDC’s Centre of 9 Pillars will provide linkages to highly experienced trainers for all training and IR4.0 solution needs.