PONTIAN, Oct 15 — Members of the Tanjung Piai Area Farmers Organisation (PPK) have expressed their satisfaction with the increased government allocation for agriculture in Budget 2020.
Tanjung Piai PPK unit head Hussin Abdul Ghani said he hoped that with the allocation, development of agricultural infrastructure and assistance in various forms would be channelled to the right target.
“At the same time, we also hope that the government will help farmers and plantation owners in finding markets for our produce,” he said when met at the Serkat Community Hall in Tanjung Piai here today.
Hussin, who is a chilli planter, said the market for the crop has good demand.
He government assistance for the crop would open up larger markets that can be explored.
“This is, in fact, a new challenge for us,” said Hussin.
In the Budget 2020 tabled last Friday, the government increased the allocation for the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry from RM4.4 billion in 2019 to RM4.9 billion.
The government also allocated about RM150 million to promote integrated crop programmes such as for chilli, pineapple, coconut, watermelon and bamboo to fishermen and smallholders diversifying their sources of income.
RM43 million was allocated towards the development of Agricultural Industry 4.0 to develop high quality and productive variants.
Today, a 33-year-old farmer said he found the reforms of Farmers’ Organisation Authority chairman Datuk Mazlan Aliman to be of particular interest to young people.
Norshaam Abdul Pateh said that young people should take the opportunity to try and venture into agriculture which is expected to generate significant income.
He said the government today is more focused on farmers and the agriculture sector.
“This is very good. When we see an increase in the allocation to the agriculture sector, we must recognise that the government is serious in developing this sector,” said Norshaam.
Yesterday, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub announced that a large chunk of its increased allocation as announced during the tabling of the Budget 2020 will be used to modernise the agriculture sector.
He said efforts to create more job opportunities in the agriculture sector would be his ministry’s main agenda.