BY: Michelle Liew
Agrobank now offers various products and initiatives based on the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (4IR) in supporting the modernization of agriculture, including agriculture with the concept of smart technology such as the use of drones, Internet of Things (IoT) and urban farming.
Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, Khadijah Iskandar, said Agrobank was always committed in supporting the country’s aspirations to develop the agricultural sector, especially through the development of agricultural technology.
He said, since the establishment of Agrobank in 1969, it has been our heart to continue to help and provide support to the agricultural community, including from small, medium and large scale upstream and downstream agricultural activities.
“This is to ensure the country’s food supply is sufficient and at the same time increase the productivity of agricultural products.
“Recognizing the importance of technology in driving the country’s agricultural sector, Agrobank offers various 4IR-based products and initiatives in supporting agricultural modernization, including agriculture with smart technology concepts such as drones, IoT and urban agriculture,” he told BH via email recently.
The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) has introduced a smart farming model that can be implemented on a small, medium or large scale as a strategy to increase vegetable production in the country, starting next year.
The indoor farming model uses rain shelter house systems, adopts automated irrigation and fertilization systems through computerized control or internet of things (IoT) applications, LED lighting, air conditioning and multistorey hydroponics.
It is understood that capital is required to provide small-scale models equipped with basic systems as low as RM10,000, depending on the size of the area and rain shelter.
Commenting further, Khadijah said, as announced during the recent Budget 2022 presentation session, Agrobank will continue to play its role in the development of the micro sector by allocating micro financing of RM250 million at zero percent for the first six months with a moratorium facility of up to six months.
He said after the RM250 million allocation was fully utilized, micro-entrepreneurs could still enjoy Agrobank’s microfinancing with a profit rate as low as 3.0 percent.
“Apart from that, we also offer various other financing products for the same purpose such as Machinery & Equipment Financing-i (MAEF-i) which is a financing facility to finance the purchase of specialized agricultural machinery and equipment to support the use of technology in this sector.
“We also have various programs in collaboration with agriculture -based companies to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and B40s in venturing into agriculture with the aim of increasing yields, learning agricultural processes, generating income and better financing opportunities,” he said.