Thursday, December 3

Agriculture ministry aims for additional RM28.9 bln GDP by 2020 — Noh Omar

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IT’S OFFICIAL: Noh Omar (centre) witnesses the exchange of an agreement between his ministry represented by secretary-general Datuk Che Mohd Hashim Abdullah (left) and a representative from Asia Aquaculture Sdn Bhd. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is aiming for additional RM28.9 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to the agriculture National Key Economic Area (NKEA) to realise the cumulative RM49.1 billion GDP target by 2020.

Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said since 2010 till now, 108 companies engaged in the agriculture sector NKEA had generated RM20.2 billion to the sector’s GDP.

“I’m confident we can achieve the RM49.1 billion target before 2020, with the rapid transformation in our agriculture sector over the past two years.

“In the last two years, we manage to generate RM20.2 billion. So, it’s not impossible for us to realise the balance RM28.9 billion in the remaining eight years (by 2020),” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of an agreement between his ministry and four lead companies in the agriculture sector.

The companies are Sunlight Inno Seafood Sdn Bhd, Asia Aquaculture Sdn Bhd, KC Kwang & Sons Sdn Bhd and Fresh Momentum Sdn Bhd.

Apart from contributing to the GDP, projects under the agriculture NKEA have also created 23,533 job opportunities since 2010 till now, Noh said.

“We’re expecting an additional 74,600 jobs in the agriculture sector by 2020. Besides jobs, we’re also hoping to increase the number of entrepreneurs, particulary young and Bumiputera entrepreneurs, via the agriculture NKEA.

“Also, under the agriculture NKEA, we managed to attract RM4 billion investments since 2010. Our ultimate investment target is RM10 billion by 2020,” he said.

Noh said through smart partnership ventures between the government and the private sector in the agriculture NKEA, the government would bear part of the investments made by the companies.

The quantum would depend on the company and the project, he said.

“I see the smart partnership arrangement has helped expedite the agriculture sector’s growth unlike the old method we merely let the private sector to develop the sector without government assistance,” he added. — Bernama