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Monday, February 5, 2007

Indian Agropreneurs


Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today called on the Indians to actively venture into the agriculture and related sectors.

He said the involvement of all communities was crucial to ensure success of the agriculture sector which the Government was developing aggressively.

The Indians' participation in the agriculture sector was negligible, accounting for only 2.4 per cent or 20,000 people of the total manpower engaged in the sector.

"Of the total, only 3,150 or 0.7 per cent are agriculture entrepreneurs, while the rest are mere workers or family members working as labourers in agriculture farms," he said when opening a agriculture development seminar organised by the MIC national agriculture bureau.

Muhyiddin, however, said Indians are major players in the dairy production sector, making up 95 per cent of dairy farming entrepreneurs.

"With the Indians having an advantage in the dairy farming industry, we can increase milk production and boost the country's self-sufficiency in cow's milk from the current five per cent to a higher level," he added.

Meanwhile, MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who also attended the seminar, said jobless Indian graduates should venture into agriculture and related sectors in a big way.

The Works Minister said state governments should provide them suitable agriculture land to carry out farming and livestock rearing on a commercial scale.

"They should also be given credit facilities, machinery, fertilizers and seeds to encourage them to go into farming aggressively," he added.

About 1,000 Indian professionals, agriculture entrepreneurs, MIC leaders and grassroots members attended the one-day seminar - BERNAMA.