JOHOR BAHRU (BERNAMA) – Malaysia’s pineapple industry will continue to be strengthened through efforts to increase the involvement of young agropreneurs in growing the fruit, which has been categorised as the country’s new source of wealth.
Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said his ministry and the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM) were playing their role in implementing planting programmes for the group.
He said they represented a catalyst for the country’s agriculture sector, such as through the Sustainable Pineapple Cluster (KNAL) project, which could drive the economy and better income for both farmers and companies.
“We want to see youths, whether school or university graduates, who are keen on the agriculture field to be involved in pineapple cultivation. “The government is providing funding through TEKUN Nasional loans under the Young Agropreneur Programme as well as Agrobank’s micro credit financing scheme,” he told reporters after attending a pineapple industry briefing at LPNM’s head office yesterday.
Also present were Deputy Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah, the ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Zainal Azman Abu Seman and LPNM chairman Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
Last year, Malaysia boosted its pineapple product exports by 60 per cent to RM491 million from RM343 million in 2018.
“Globally, Malaysia ranks 19th in pineapple production, while Johor is the country’s top pineapple-growing state (9,700 hectares) which is also pioneering the planting of MD2 variety,” Kiandee said.