PETALING JAYA: There has been a mindset shift among the younger generation of Malaysians that assures them that agriculture holds a promising future, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Prime Minister told a summit of eight developing countries that as a result, the involvement of Malaysian youth in agriculture has been on the increase.

“Smart farming is rapidly becoming the future of agriculture.

“The food supply chain can be improved by introducing enabling technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or traceability systems that have the potential to increase food safety and production transparency, ” he said during the 10th Summit of the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation (D-8) yesterday.

The virtual summit, hosted by current chair Bangladesh, featured the theme “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology”.

Other countries in the D-8 are Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

The six areas of economic cooperation under the D-8 are trade, agriculture and food security, industrial cooperation and SMEs, transportation, energy and minerals, and tourism.

Muhyiddin also said that the Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted a newfound sense of urgency to the digital inclusion agenda.

“While the crisis has enabled hundreds of millions to work, learn and connect digitally, it is easy to see how it has also exacerbated the situation for far too many people in vulnerable situations around the world.

“Now, more than ever, connectivity should be at the core of all national and international priorities – from healthcare, education, government services and beyond, ” he said, adding that the government had recently announced a Digital Transformation Roadmap to expand and improve Malaysia’s digital connectivity.

In view of the vaccine rollout, he said Malaysia would like to propose the possibility of having Reciprocal Covid-19 Vaccine Certificate Recognition among D-8 member states, which he believed would speed up the reopening of the hardest-hit sectors.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the life and livelihood of our people, and has triggered an alarm specifically on the issue of poverty. I take this opportunity to urge D-8 member states to work together to address this issue collectively.”

The summit also adopted the Dhaka Declaration and the D-8 Decennial Roadmap for 2020-2030.

The Dhaka Declaration reaffirms the commitment of member states towards their objectives and cooperation framework in charting D-8’s future strategic direction, while the Roadmap will guide the work of the D-8 towards its achievements for the next 10 years.

The D-8 Secretariat based in Istanbul, Turkey, is led by Datuk Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, the first Malaysian to hold the secretary-general’s position.

He was appointed in January 2018.

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