If you’re interested in gaining the basic knowledge and skills in agriculture, there are several training programmes in Sarawak that you can consider.
Some of them are available at the Institute of Agriculture Sarawak in Semongok, Kuching. Established in 1983, it aims to train youths in the field of agriculture to meet the demands of the growing sector.
Technical training is offered by the institute in all fields related to agriculture, including farm management, crop production technology, harvest processing, livestock, farming and farm mechanisation.
Courses are full time and run for two years (four semesters), with each semester consisting of 20 weeks of study.
The certificates awarded by the institute are recognised by the Public Service Department and are equivalent to polytechnic certificates from the Ministry of Education Malaysia.
Training in agriculture is necessary to nurture talent and produce the next generation of farmers.
In rural agricultural communities in Sarawak, few people have the opportunity to gain formal education and training in proper agricultural practices.
Thus, the Department of Agriculture Sarawak (DOA Sarawak) offers Farmers Training Programmes at its various Agriculture Training Centres around the State, especially within rural areas, allowing the local community to pursue agricultural training without leaving their hometowns.
Learning how to properly utilise machinery and crop farming methods can drastically improve a farmer’s productivity throughout the season for more profit.
Through training, farmers can also learn how to better manage their farms and market their agricultural goods.
In fact, as small farms grow, farmers can create more demand for products such as fertiliser, pesticides and irrigation systems, thereby improving the entire agricultural sector.
In line with the Sarawak Digital Economy initiative, smart farming is being implemented to better the lives of farmers.
Here, training would provide them the essential skill sets to modernise their farms, boost harvest productivity and mitigate any agricultural challenges that they face.
Providing such training is Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) in collaboration with IBM Malaysia, where farmers will be receiving training and education in smart farming as well as grants to adopt the technology.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) by DOA Sarawak is designed to share the latest crop, fishery and agro-food technology, as well as to help farmers identify and seek advice and assistance on modern farming activities that could benefit them.
At the national level, part of the PENJANA scheme is the Urban Farming Project, where RM10 million has been allocated.
This programme aims to provide assistance, equipment, advice and training to encourage small-scale farming to meet their daily needs and reduce cost of living.
Additionally, Agrofood Workforce Mobility is a strategy to develop the human capital of affected agro-food sectors during the various forms of movement control orders amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the programmes implemented under this strategy is MyFutureAgro, where leading companies will provide on-the-job training for up to six months to participants interested in the agricultural and plantation sectors.
Sarawak aims to become a net exporter of food and food products by 2030, which is why training future farmers is crucial to work towards this goal.
Read more: Career Advancement in Agriculture
Read more: Why young Sarawakians should consider a career in agriculture