CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Jan 11 — Agriculture and Agro-based Deputy Minister Sim Tze Tzin today said that the government plans to rebrand agriculture products here into a safe and quality food using the Malaysian Good Agriculture Practice (MyGAP) certificate scheme to boost its market.
“The agriculture products from here has a large demand in Asian markets. We have been importing our products to Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Hong Kong.
“However, there were a few incidents where our products have been barred from entering into countries like Singapore after it was found to contain heavy pesticide. This has affected the good image of our products,” he told reporters after attending a meeting at the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) station here.
To overcome these challenges, Sim said the ministry has encouraged farmers here to apply for the MyGAP certificate.
“MyGAP certificate is given to farmers who practice environmental friendly farming, by taking care of the welfare and the safety of workers in producing a safe and quality product. This system also helps to increase the productivity.
“We want agriculture products here to have its own brand. A Cameron Highland brand, which is safe, quality and doesn't affect the environment. When the buyers sees this branding they should know that the product is of high quality and is safe to eat,” he said.
Sim also said Mardi will be sending five researchers to assist the farmers here on practicing a sustainable farming starting next month.
“The researchers will focus on several aspects, especially on high land farming. High land farming has its own challenges, we need to come with quality seeds which can suit the climate, soil and resistant to the disease here.
“They will also help farmers on how to use less pesticide on their products. Apart from that, they will also introduce green technology farming system to the farmers here to have a sustainable farming,” he said.
Sim also said using technology in farming would attract youngster to venture into the field as using technology in farming would be cost efficient and increase the productivity.
Sim also said Mardi has agreed to send plant diagnosis to every farm here to conduct checks on their products which has been hit by virus or disease.
“They will advise the farmers on what can be done to save the plantation instead of using a heavy pesticide on it,” he added.
Sim said out of the 6,052.88 hectares of farming lands here, only 1,911.16 hectares or equivalent to 23 farms had gotten the MyGAP certificate.
“Only 30 per cent of the farmers here had received the MyGAP certificate. The balance are either in the application process or yet to apply,” he said.