Government focus on developing affordable AI technologies to help smallholders - DPM Fadillah

19 Oct 2023 03:38pm
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. - Photo by Bernama
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof. - Photo by Bernama

PUTRAJAYA - The government will focus on developing affordable artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for the plantation and commodities industry to help smallholders increase their income, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

Fadillah who is also the Plantation and Commodities Minister said this is one of the government's focus towards automation and mechanisation in the field of plantation, considering the ability of the target group to adapt to the new technology.

"We are already using drone technology for spraying fertilisers and pesticides, but we still have difficuties when it comes to harvesting, so we are focusing on developing advanced AI robots that will identify fruits that are ripe enough to be harvested and probably for the pruning process too.

"Nowadays several large companies are already using AI technologies and have benefited in terms of tax incentives," he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC) and Halal Development Corporation (HDC) here today.

Fadillah said the use of AI technologies would be able to reduce dependence on foreign and manual labour in the plantation and commodities industry.

"The use of the technology with reasonable operating costs will be able to help farmers and estate owners who have aged and are unable to spend more time in the field but are still able to manage their land." he said.

On the collaboration between MPOCC and HDC, Fadillah said the purpose was to allow exchange of information and to explore opportunities and new initiatives related to sustainability in the palm oil industry and the halal ecosystem.

"In 2022, Malaysia's halal export value reached RM59.4 billion, of which 4.7 per cent or RM2.8 billion were palm-based products, while for the halal ingredients sector, which was 70 per cent palm-based, increased by 73.1 per cent to RM23.35 billion in the same year," he said.

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Halal Development Corporation (HDC) spearheads the development of Malaysia’s integrated and comprehensive halal ecosystem and infrastructure, while MPOCC is responsible for managing the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification Scheme (MSPO). - BERNAMA