Farming a lucrative industry, says assistant minister


SIBU: Agriculture has taken on a new facet, enabling modern farmers to reap good returns if they are prepared to toil the field.

Saying this was Assistant Minister of Youth Development Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who pointed out that farming methods were not as what they were before.

“We can be very successful as a modern farmer if we are willing to indulge into it. Agriculture and being a farmer can bring ‘good returns’,” he said via sms.

Karim, who is Asajaya assemblyman, was asked on the notion that these days youth preferred to work in the comfort of an air-conditioned environment than to toil under the sun.

The matter was brought up by deputy managing director of KTS group of companies Temenggong Vincent Lau Lee Ming in his speech last week at the ‘Young Potential Development Programme for Plantation Management’.

In reply, Karim figured there might be some truth to it.

“The present lifestyle, career, outlook and the way parents, society and leaders portray academic excellence as the gauge for success in life has created a perception that tilling the farm and agriculture is a substandard career.

“Many do not want to be associated with it and modern youths do not want to treat it as a career,” he observed.

Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapaee concurred with the view, saying that youths preferred the more relaxed environment. Dr Annuar, however, was quick to point out that they needed to climb the corporate ladder to move up the office hierarchy.

“But in agriculture, your return will depend on your own effort. Therefore, the return can increase very fast if you double your efforts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jemoreng assemblyman Abu Seman Jahwie noted the growing potential of agriculture.

“Youths should take every opportunity to venture into farming to carve a living or make a career out of it,” said Abu Seman, who is a political secretary to the chief minister.

Lau was reported to have said that agriculture, including oil palm plantation, was a growing industry that required a lot of manpower.

He also said while population kept increasing agricultural land was not growing.

This, he figured, partially soared up the demand for food, making agriculture a very important contributor to the state’s economy.