JOHOR BAHRU: The “contract farm” model for pineapple cultivation improves youth skills and generates income in a challenging economic climate, said the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (MPIB).

Its chairman, Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said close collaboration with the private sector will be intensified to ensure economic spillover of the pineapple industry can benefit every layer of society through the implementation of the contract farm model.

As an example, he said the model was implemented on Aqina Food Industries Sdn Bhd’s 101 hectares of land in Pekoti Timur, Rompin, Pahang.

The project involved 20 youths with each person given two hectares of land to cultivate the MD2 pineapple variant.

“The participants of this contract farm have been following the programme for more than two years and the duration of the programme is six years.

“I congratulate and I am grateful that Aqina opened opportunities for young agropreneurs to generate good income,” Sheikh Umar said in a statement today.

He said through the Aqina-Agrobank collaboration, loans amounting to more than RM200,000 have been given for every crop cycle.

Sheikh Umar said through this programme, participants can receive on-ground training and experience in managing seeds and shoots, fertilisation, and soil treatment to produce the best quality MD2 pineapples.

There is also guidance in financial management by Aqina and participants earned a monthly income of about RM4,000.

“I have been informed that all participants managed to settle their household debts from the income earned.

“This is the concept of public, private, and community partnership that must be applied in the agriculture sector in Malaysia,” he said. -Bernama

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