On behalf of the organising committee, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all the delegates to the inaugural International Conference on Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Sarawak 2017 (ICAAS 2017). The conference, with the theme “Transforming Agriculture through Commercialisation”, will be held from 21st until 22nd August 2017 at the Borneo Convention Centre (BCCK) Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
We have invited prominent international speakers and industry experts in agriculture and the agro-based industry to share their knowledge and experiences in the agriculture sector for this conference. The organising committee, would like to acknowledge the support of the State Government in making ICAAS 2017 possible. We are also very honoured to have the Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg as the patron of this conference.
Agriculture has been identified as one of the key sectors in the transformation of the Sarawak State economy. In 2016, the sector contributed about 14% to State Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provided approximately 300,000 employment opportunities for the people. The agriculture sector also plays an important role in alleviating poverty and uplifting the standard of living of the rural communities, hence the State is pushing for higher productivity and commercialisation of agriculture. This international conference is indeed timely and is a fitting platform for knowledge sharing on new approaches and mechanisms that have proven to be successful in other countries and which can be adopted in the State.
Among the key objectives of the conference are to explore effective agriculture delivery systems in order to facilitate transformation of the agriculture sector, and to identify opportunities in the utilisation of digital technology to leapfrog the development of our agriculture sector towards a sustainable and competitive one.
The conference will feature more than 20 eminent local and international renowned speakers and industry experts in agriculture and the agro-based industry. We are looking forward to get them to share their knowledge, experiences and expertise in their field of specialisation with the participants.
The 2-day Conference sessions are divided into four tracks namely; Modernisation and Commercialisation of Agriculture: Scenario and Trends, Journey towards Transformed Agriculture, Stakeholders Integration along the Supply Chain, and Digital Agriculture. The conference will highlight current issues, challenges, trends, opportunities and the way forward in agriculture and the agro-based industry. There will also be exhibitions featuring the agriculture and the agro-based industry products during the conference by industry players, institutions and government agencies.
We look forward to welcoming all of you to the ICAAS 2017, and we hope you will take this opportunity to spend some time to experience the spectacular and unique beauty of Sarawak in the heart of Borneo.
With best wishes,
Datu Haji Ismawi bin Haji Ismuni
Deputy State Secretary (Socio-economic Transformation), Sarawak, Malaysia
ICAAS 2017 Conference Organising Chairman