Published: Saturday December 17, 2011 MYT 3:12:00 PM
PM: MyAgrosis can turn tertiary institutions into food production core
SUNGAI PETANI: MyAgrosis, or the Agriculture Graduate Entrepreneurs Club, launched Saturday, can take tertiary institutions to the core of the country's food production, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
Najib said the initiative would also help the country tackle its food import deficit.
"At the moment we are exporting RM18bil worth of food products a year but our import is RM30bil. We are faced with a huge deficit. So, MyAgrosis will help us patch it up with new approaches," he said when launching the club and declaring open the Youth and Graduate Entrepreneurs Gathering at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Merbok, near here.
He said that an increase in food production would shield the people from being burdened by the high cost of living.
"The high cost of living is due to the cost of foodstuff. So the best way to ease the burden is to increase the food production in the country," he said. The prime minister also announced an allocation of RM30mil to help the MyAgrosis programme.
Of the total, RM10mil will go to Agrobank to provide guarantor-free loan scheme to MyAgrosis members with a ceiling amount of RM30,000 to venture into agro-businesses.
The rest of the amount will be allocated to Tekun Nasional and the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, with an allocation of RM10mil each.
Tekun will provide funds for MyAgrosis participants while the ministry will provide facilities for MyAgrosis programmes such as hydroponics and water supply systems.
The new allocation for Agrobank brings the bank's total fund for the programme to RM20mil.
Najib said the provision of the funds marked the government's total support for MyAgrosis. - Bernama