Business events to advance Sarawak’s agriculture growth
Sarawak is leveraging business events to help it reach its aim of becoming a smart agriculture hub in the Asia Pacific region.
The BESarawak Alliance (BESA) has been formed to encourage growth in the state’s key sectors via collaboration between government ministries through business events. One of BESA’s first initiatives is an agriculture-based familiarisation trip taking place in conjunction with the inaugural Sarawak AgroFest 2018, a premier agriculture festival to promote the state’s agriculture and agro-based industry (20–28 October 2018).
Agriculture remains the main economic activity for the majority of the rural people in Sarawak, with about 215,000 farming families across the state. There is huge potential for growth, with some two million hectares of land rich in bio-resources available for agricultural development.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said: “To realise our goal of becoming a net exporter of food by 2030, we are looking to work closely with alternative sectors including business events as it is a catalyst for technological advancement, upskilling opportunities for local champions and networking opportunities with global experts.”
The Agri-Fam will bring together 40 experts from Thailand, Indonesia and other Malaysian counterparts, consisting of researchers, academicians and the media, in a five-day expedition. There will be a series of technical tours as well as participation at the second edition of the International Conference on Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Sarawak (ICAAS), held at the Penview Convention Centre Demak.
The main objective of ICAAS 2018 is to provide a platform to showcase how digital technology can transform the State agriculture sector. The digital economy is projected to make up 17.4% of the State’s GDP by 2025. Adoption of modern and digital technology is being promoted as a way of improve farming productivity, quality, sufficiency and competitiveness. The conference will also: identify best practices and models for public-private sector partnership in commercialising agriculture; promote agriculture enterprise; and encourage business and investment opportunities in agriculture.
The Sarawak AgroFest 2018 will also incorporate agriculture-themed conferences and seminars, business matching, food sales, a hackathon, a mini zoo, games, agro competitions and performances.
Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youths and Sports, added: “With initiatives such as the BESarawak Alliance, we are able to highlight Sarawak’s agriculture potential and explore future collaborations in attracting more agriculture-based Business Events.”
Amelia Roziman, Chief Operating Officer of the Sarawak Convention Bureau, added: “Business Events can bring tremendous value and growth to the sector. It is key to create a sustainable and stronger Sarawak as it is a pivotal driver for the economic development of the state.”
Featured image: Sarawak Focus
Published Date: 21/10/2018