Initiatives and Challenges of Agricultural Crop Sector in East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Development Projects in Malaysia
American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Vol. 12(7), pp. 922-931
14 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017
Date Written: 2012
The share of agriculture to GDP is continuously declining in Malaysia, but agricultural sector is very crucial to ensure food security, employment generation, socioeconomic improvement, economic growth, poverty reduction, and overall achievement of vision 2020. The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) represents 34% of total national agricultural area, which has a good potentiality to improve productivity and reduce high poverty intensity in this area. Realizing the importance, Malaysian government has taken a large development project in the ECER region in 2006, but much is not known about the project due to limited number of study and unavailability of official performance report of the project. Hence this study is an attempt to explore one of the niche areas, which is agricultural crops sector. The major initiatives of agricultural crops sector include establishing three agro valleys as major vegetable and short-term crop growing areas. These involve organized modern farming methods in a sustainable manner to improve efficiency and productivity of agricultural production of paddy, vegetables, and fruits. The prospects of the project are also very much anticipative, because the size of domestic market has grown in recent years. But there are lots of challenges to meet the target of the project. Institutional supports, physical infrastructural supports like transportations, irrigations, and preservation facilities are not adequate in this area. To meet the target and to ensure the success of the projects, some more initiatives for improvements and proper management are also necessary. These include, for example, farmer's cooperative or institutional involvement for marketing the crops, financial supports and subsidies, cooperation among agents and departments, training to avoid environment degradations, and adaptation techniques to cope with adverse effects of climatic changes, etc. It is expected that the relevant government authority and agencies, especially the ECER project authority, will be highly benefited from the findings of the study.
Keywords: ECER, Agropolitan, Agriculture, Rural development, Malaysia
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