Chairman: MDEC seeks pledge from banks to microfinance agricultural technology-driven farmers

People withdraw cash from an automatic teller machine at a CIMB Islamic branch in Sepang August 26, 2013. – Reuters pic
People withdraw cash from an automatic teller machine at a CIMB Islamic branch in Sepang August 26, 2013. – Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) is working to get more banks to provide microfinancing for farmers in driving the country’s agriculture ecosystem based on agricultural technology (AgTech).

Chairman Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff said CIMB Islamic Bank had pledged RM25 million earlier this month to encourage farmers to adopt the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics and Internet-of-things (IoT)-based applications.

“When we did our proof of concept on digitising fertigation and IoT-enable fertigation, we found out in terms of yield, it goes up by 33 per cent, while farmers can also get more than 20 per cent income increase with the use of AgTech.

“Last Friday, we were close to getting another bank to pledge a few more million ringgit to help the farmers. We will announce the details soon,” he told Bernama after the launch of #SayaDigital at Hiliran Ampang People’s Housing Project (PPR) here, today.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin virtually launched the national-level #SayaDigital programme earlier today.

#SayaDigital is a continuation of the MyDIGITAL initiative to improve the digital skills of Malaysians through programmes, seminars and training schemes, enabling them to seize opportunities in the digital economy.

The programme, expected to socio-economically benefit 10,000 Malaysians nationwide is designed to get the B40 group, youths and senior citizens, especially in PPRs, involved in the digital economy.

“As of March 2021, we have registered 1,606 participants in #SayaDigital pilot projects in three PPRs around the Klang Valley, and we are going to expand this programme to more areas nationwide soon.

“Concurrently, participants who registered online have also been connected to major MDEC programmes, such as eUsahawan, Perkhidmatan eDagang Setempat, Go-eCommerce, Global Online Workforce and #MyDigitalworkforce,” said Rais.

Meanwhile MDEC chief executive officer, Surina Shukri said the #SayaDigital campaign focuses on four components, mainly in training young people to become volunteers in the ‘Geng #SayaDigital’; creating awareness through digital literacy activities; conducting digital readiness assessments; and providing basic digital skills training to the community.

“According to the latest MDEC study, there are 47,000 digital job opportunities advertised on major job portals and in this regard, the #SayaDigital programme is a timely effort that will get more people to learn digital skills,” she added. — Bernama

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