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Collaborative sandbox launched to tackle food security concerns

November 21, 2023
The Star
5 mins read

KUALA LUMPUR: The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry has launched a new collaborative Food Security Sandbox to deal with Malaysia’s ever-growing food security threat.

Its minister, Chang Lih Kang, said the sandbox, which will be a collaboration between the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) and the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), would focus on assisting startups involved in food security.

“Be it in agriculture technology, drones, variable rate technology, global positioning systems, geographical information systems, or the Internet of Things, the sandbox will be open to all startups related to food security.

“Other than providing additional funding to accelerate their innovations to commercialisation, the sandbox will also provide these startups with access to real-world test sites for prototype testing,” he said at the I-Nation 2023 conference yesterday.Chang said 100ha plots of land in Chuping, Perlis, and Pendang, Kedah, would serve as test sites.

“Through this initiative, the government hopes to raise the national self-sufficient level for local food production and increase the industry’s productivity, yield and revenue while improving the environmental sustainability of current farming techniques.

“The innovations born from this, such as the use of drones, will also hopefully help address the labour shortage in the agriculture sector and reduce overall operation costs, thereby bringing down the price of produce,” he said.