Frequent rural development synonym with agricultural development which gives extremely narrow focus. The objective convergence is merely direction increase of agricultural productivity regardless how development enjoyed by society widely. Furthermore, social welfare overall not given attention by serious.
Modern economy dominated by system oriented capitalist system with gives attention to major exports commodity production in agriculture namely rubber and tin ore. Meanwhile, traditional economics with a character little small farmer agriculture sector get attention from state.
Agriculture sector undeniably is most important sector to developing countries like Malaysia. In fact it is between central feature distinctive status between developing countries and developed countries. This sector also had contributed to Malaysian economy basis of formation in era after independence which at that time, concentrated a majority of the population to agriculture-based economic activity and mining.
Problem which arise in agricultural community reasonable to be scrutinized directly or indirect development process result nowadays. Problems occur in agricultural community are earthen, labour force and technology use.
As agriculture sector scope very big but discussion space is limited, discussion in this working paper will more emphasized on sub-sector more with problem, agricultural land, labour force and technology usage.
Land or property according law term was part of topography may be specified his ownership rights. According to Knetsch (1983), as cited in Fatimah Mohd. Arshad and Mad Nasir Shamsudin in Agricultural Land Food Security and Issue “These rights was not just confined to surface area only covered things above its such as tree, building and those repairs was done by squire and also worth thing on the surface or under said land”.
Due to this each deserved individual to own land to carry production activity. In land agriculture sector is main capital shall belong by farmer to carry out their agricultural activity.
In land agriculture sector is main capital shall belong by farmer to carry out their agricultural activity. However yet agriculture sector still facing inside problem a few issue either problem to seek agricultural land area, or idle land problem after land ownership right in possessed by farmer.
In effort optimize land utilization and achieve high productivity, existence idle agricultural land concerned all parties. This concern understandable when we think that agricultural land is limited resources in Peninsular Malaysia due to rapid progression in non-agriculture sector. According to YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (2002), in National Land Convention, “Data of Agriculture Ministry and Tani’s Basis shows that property agricultural land idle farmer and suitable to be developed over Peninsular Malaysia until year 2002 is as wide as hectares”. According to Salwa Syed Akil (2002), in her study entitled Agricultural Land Roots Idle In District Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, she found that “This area is 35 percent from total hectares idle agricultural land nationwide which involves rice field lands and also upland”.
Existences this idle land problem not just detrimental income for farming families in fact it follows affect production and national income.
Industrial sector and housing rapid expansion in Malaysia tackles limited land supply had aroused two symptom namely first, competition upper land resource and second, increase in land price. This case fomented to farmer for them get agricultural land to carry their agricultural activity.
Agricultural land price increase was the result of demand and supply interaction said land. From demand perspective, there was some factor which resulted demand on improving soil. Among them was population of people, infrastructure development and area expansion, facility flexibility finance to purchase land and industrial, business and tourism promotion.
From supply perspective also, apart from real land physical limitation, institutional constraint also influenced land price. Between institution factor limit land area can be developed are included zoning, condition - tight development condition, process or land use approval procedures for purposes of development too long and long, land titles and government policy problem in connection with source retention and conservation for purpose steady and eternal development.
Agricultural land price increase bringing some change from consumption pattern aspect said land. Demand competition of manufacturing sector has prompted to use of land which would give highest and best return such as land development for housing or urbanization, industrial site, and trade.
In many state, land use competition between agriculture with non agricultural, agricultural land will be taken over for use non-agricultural. To support rapid progression in non-agriculture sector, demand upper agricultural land will continue to increase. According to Uzir and Zainal (1996), in Agricultural Land Food Security and Issue, “All phenomena above had caused agricultural land price experience increase since year 1970 except when national economy experience recession in duration 1985 and 1988”.
By case that, problem to seek agricultural land for farmer is particularly critical when have to go through high price of land and competition with non-agriculture sector.
In often questionable agriculture foreign labour energy problems are in our country. Landowner sound off with workforce quality hired. Low quality of work reduces productivity and their gains. Landowner should always ensure their employee carrying out work properly, so that tax income source of their project achieved more. Apart from that, employees who adopted need to be ensured having inside efficiency and experience agriculture activity which operate.
Caused quality of the labour force from outside cause lack of country profit, opposed local community decision which party to take outsider to be working in agriculture sector in Malaysia. According to a participant as cited in King and Nazaruddin (1992), he found that “Why should our children leave the village in search of work, while work available in the village is given to outsiders?”.
When country headed for higher levels of development, factors of production price increase especially labour would be significant and local labour power supply will decline due to more attractive salary offer and tendency for them work in other sector.
Between key strategies to achieve the objective was by creating commercial opportunity and new business and prospect in activity based on agriculture by strengthen agricultural produce competitiveness by improving another efficiency and productivity through better technology usage. As such, only new agriculture crop, product, present viable and potential will be explored to ensure the sector remain competitive.
According to Economic planning unit (2003), as cited in Utusan Malaysia, suggested “However, foreign labour will continued to be needed in activity labour incentive are mainly in plantation sector”.
According to Abd. Malik and Mohaini (1992) as cited in Alwy (2006), in Tourism: Agriculture Sector in Malaysia Now: Issue, Problem and Challenge:
Economic transformation, especially manufacturing development considered a factor which influenced labour migration from agriculture sector. In year 1957, labour migration from this sector as many as 515 410 people, while between 1970 to 1980 as many as 953 680 people.
This migration is caused farmer's children, especially small farmers uninterested on agriculture sector because low socio-economic state in agriculture sector, especially in plantations; found job opportunities which offers higher and guaranteed income in industrial sector; job image in higher industrial sector; and better social facility in town.
Opportunity upgrade the economic status through incomes in manufacturing sector and service more assured. Moreover change crop can give high income impracticable immediately.
According to Aliasak and Ahmad (1993) as cited in Alwy (2006) in Tourism: Agriculture Sector in Malaysia Now: Issue, Problem and Challenge in their research, “Youth education level also had caused they more intrigued to job opportunities at sector non agricultural. Most youngsters in agriculture sector, especially those educated and productive uninterested plunge self in areas of agriculture”.
Unprepared to accept technology
Technology usage was important assets in developing agriculture sector in one country. Technology played an important part in improving agricultural produce and eradicate poverty problem faced by rural area society. Various efforts which is done by state governments and international development agencies to extend agricultural technology. Among them was development of livestock, chemical fertilizer, insecticide and weed use, machine utilization etc.
Although already many modern technologies had been created by inside scientist and change agent agriculture sector, but also found some farmers still adopted again traditional way. This case are because, they not prepared to accept new technology. Technology transfer of traditional system to modern system happening among smallholder has been accredited as big problem in society developing.
According to Ministry Agricultural Based Industry (2004), in Conference Direction Agriculture Sector and Agro-based Industry:
Peasant, farmer and fisherman must abolish views that 'cubic measure rice would not be a capacity. My Ministry already implemented a lot various projects aims to help farmer, farmer and fisherman to release of shackle of poverty. But acceptance level by peasant society is very difficult to be obtained such as new technology, automation and new equipment practice and farm management which complies international quality standards. In fact invariably we clashed with attitude problems and schools of thought that do not brave to be independent and changed. We face with enthusiastic peasant society entrepreneurship and innovative which dare take inside risk try new crops technology and way to increase good their position. Consequently new technology spread and acceptance would face deadlock.
Technology which covered land preparation method before planting, farm control measure of pest and disease, harvesting way, result care method after harvested and marketing is key aspect to success in agriculture sector. But due to those problems is passed by peasant society such as capital shortage problem, small scale farm size problem and lack of their approach on programme organized by government agency or private sector.
Capital shortage problem to get sophisticated technology equipment to replace traditional equipment in agricultural activity. This case is sourced of lack of education and knowledge among farmers. As such, its impact, pretty hard for them get loan from financial institutions such as Agro Bank, MARDI etc.
Apart from that, small scale farm size issue also is peasant society factor do not use modern technology. This case because, they think that small scale farm size does not require to sophisticated machinery to handle their agricultural activity. Then caused the, they still use traditional equipment.
Lack of peasant society involvement in activities sponsored by government agencies and private such as motivation programme , agricultural training and awareness campaign which propelled they to receiving end and use of modern technology cause they not prepared to accept new technology.
In accordance with that, when existence some farmers still adopted traditional way, then this case would result high labour cost production. Meanwhile, it also would cause lack of efficiency in agricultural produce production. Case that would result living standard of farmers no undergo changes caused low income, further make export goods activity to overseas ebb, while import activity goods from abroad will continue to increase. According to Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (2002), as cited in Azman Anuar in Utusan Malaysia (2003), he said “Old way agriculture cultivated on a small scale not only not help to increase living standard of farmers, even not contribute much to national income”.
Resource constraint will on the rise and this could lead to necessary form more efficient agriculture system and sustainable in future. How readiness constraint land for agriculture able overcame? You can refer to modern agriculture cases and high-tech in several developed nation.
Although agriculture sector can develop but expansion from more circumscribed space aspect in future. In lack of land most countries can be planted increasingly given attention and step to overcome began to be implemented. Intensification production could be enhanced through new production method development to replace traditional practice which uses land by extensive. Prospect for this still being question mark especially in succeed agriculture system more sustainable.
To overcome inside labour shortage problem short-term, foreign labour use needed. In the long run also, automation and modern technology by intensive need to be carried out. Now many activities in agricultural production may be carried out by using machinery and modern technology.
Economic transformation bring contribution decline agriculture sector to national economy. Found variety problem faced by agriculture sector, especially sub-sector farmer and small farmer. To overcome smallholder and small farmer problem, agriculture need to be worked by commercial farm so that can create farm having size economic and can be worked by follow economies of scale. With existence economic size, usable mechanization usage and modern technology with economic.
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