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Introduction:

The words entrepreneur, intrapreneur and entrepreneurship have acquired special significance in the
context of economic growth in a rapidly changing socio-economic and socio-cultural climates, particularly
in industry, both in developed and developing countries. Entrepreneurial development is a complex
phenomenon. Productive activity undertaken by him/her and constant endeavor to sustain and improve it
are the outward expression of this process of development of his personality. Ducker suggests that “An
entrepreneur is one who always searches for change, responds to it as an opportunity. Entrepreneurs
innovate. Innovation is a specific instrument of entrepreneurship”. (Ducker, 1998).

An agri -preneurship is any business in the agricultural industry which includes production agriculture,
food, fiber, the environment and natural resources. Agri entrepreneurs avoid low- risk situations because
there is a lack of challenge. They avoid high risk situations because they want to succeed. They like
achievable challenges. They do not tend to like situations where the outcome of a quest depends upon a
chance and not on their efforts. They like to influence the outcome of their quest by putting in more efforts
and then experiencing a sense of accomplishment. A risk situation occurs when Agri-entrepreneur is
required to make a choice between two or more alternatives whose potential outcomes are not known and
must be evaluated in advance, with limited information. A risk situation involves potential gain and
potential loss. An agri entrepreneurship can under takes the following ventures.
a. Land development,
b. Irrigation
c. Soil- conservation
d. Fertilizers, and
e. Seeds etc.

Services in Malaysia have a vast scope of development in Malaysia. Entrepreneurs are called upon to
identify Malaysia’s strong base and to initiate activities in those specific areas, there are technologies that
dramatically change Malaysia’s social and economic conditions. Malaysia can excel and usher in a new
era in agriculture.

Agricultural entrepreneur are the ones who undertake agricultural activities such as raising and marketing
of crops, fertilizers and other inputs of agriculture. They are motivated to improve agriculture through
mechanization, irrigation, and application of technologies for dry land agricultural products.
An agri-entrepreneur are highly creative people. They always try to develop new products, processes or
markets. They are innovative, flexible and are willing to adopt changes. They are not satisfied with
conventional and routine way of doing things. They involve themselves in finding new ways of doing the
things for the better.

As the size of the business expands the problems and opportunities become more numerous and complex.
Business growth and development require an entrepreneur not to be afraid of taking decisions and certain
risks. Most people are afraid to take risks because they want to be safe and avoid failure. An Agri -
Entrepreneur always takes a calculated risk and is not afraid of failure.

There is a vast cope for entrepreneurial activities in the agricultural sector. By establishing a link between
agriculture and allied industries, the rural entrepreneur can exploit opportunities in areas of farming,
agricultural processing and marketing. The government has given priority to agriculture related
programme and ensured adequate flow of credit to small and marginal farmers through re-financing
facilities and by establishing national bank for agriculture and small development.

Fig -1: Agri – entrepreneurship in General:


Functions of Agri entrepreneurship:

In large establishments these management functions are delegated to professional managers an


entrepreneur performs many useful functions such as

Undertakes a farming venture


Assumes risk and
Earns profits
Identifies Agriculture business and related opportunities to start business either as a farmer or a
distributor.

Managerial Functions: - The entrepreneur performs the managerial functions such as


a. Formulating production plans
b. Overseeing finances
c. Dealing with the purchases of raw materials
d. Providing production facilities
e. Organizing sales

Fig – 1: Entrepreneur Functions:


Importance of Agri Entrepreneurship in Malaysia:

Entrepreneurship is the key to success in sustainable agriculture, and the success or


failure of sustainable agriculture will largely decide the fate of rural Malaysia.
Farmers know that in addition to the personal satisfaction they get from working
with the soil, they are also stewards of the land and water and a crucial economic
force in rural communities, providing consumers with a healthy diversity of
conscientiously produced foods and fibers.

Malaysian farmers have proved themselves creative and resourceful in developing,


adapting, and adopting successful production systems, but few have had the
opportunity to hone their entrepreneurial skills business evaluation and planning,
record keeping, marketing, financing, managing human resources, and the scores of
other details necessary to a going concern. However, if sustainable agriculture and
rural Malaysia are to thrive, these are the very skills that farmers have to learn.
(Arif and Yanti, 2002)

While entrepreneurship has widely been viewed by policy makers and educators
alike as the creative act of an independent businessperson, Malaysian farmers are
learning that the roots of entrepreneurship extend deep into a community’s civic
structure.

It takes more than good ideas and some market savvy to be a successful Agri
-entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs almost always draw upon the knowledge
and resources of others. This annotated resource list is for agriculture entrepreneurs
who want to expand, improve, or add a new enterprise to their farm operations.

Especially for smaller farms, these enterprises are often non-traditional-adding


pastured poultry to a beef operation, turning the barn into a bed-and breakfast, or
creating a corn maze to attract tourists. But whatever the innovation, it will require
both money and entrepreneurial skills.
Agriculture remains an important sector of Malaysia's economy, contributing 12 percent to the national
GDP and providing employment for 16 percent of the population. The British established large-scale
plantations and introduced new commercial crops (rubber in 1876, palm oil in 1917, and cocoa in the
1950s). The 3 main crops—rubber, palm oil, and cocoa—have dominated agricultural exports ever since,
although the Malaysian share of the world's production of these crops declined steadily during the last 2
decades. In addition to these products, Malaysian farmers produce a number of fruits and vegetables for
the domestic market, including bananas, coconuts, durian, pineapples, rice, rambutan (a red, oval fruit
grown on a tree of the same name in Southeast Asia), and others. The Malaysian tropical climate is very
favorable for the production of various exotic fruits and vegetables, especially since Peninsular Malaysia
seldom experiences hurricanes or droughts. (Zulkefly, 2001)

As rice is a staple foodstuff in the everyday diet of Malaysians and is a symbol of traditional Malay
culture, the production of rice, which stood at 1.94 million metric tons in 1998, plays an important part in
the country's agriculture. However, the overall production of rice does not satisfy the country's needs, and
Malaysia imports rice from neighboring Thailand and Vietnam.
In 1999, Malaysia produced 10.55 million metric tons of palm oil, remaining one of the world's largest
producers. Almost 85 percent or 8.8 million metric tons of this was exported to international market.
Malaysia is one of the world's leading suppliers of rubber, producing 767,000 metric tons of rubber in
1999. However, in the 1990s, large plantation companies began to turn to the more profitable palm oil
production. Malaysia also is the world's fourth-largest producer of cocoa, producing 84,000 metric tons in
1999.

Logging in the tropical rainforest is an important export revenue earner in East Malaysia and in the
northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. In 2000, Malaysia produced 21.94 million cubic meters of sawed
logs, earning RM1.7 billion (US$450 million) from exports. Malaysia sells more tropical logs and sawed
tropical timber abroad than any other country, and is one of the biggest exporters of hardwood. Despite
attempts at administrative control and strict requirements regarding reforestation in the early 1990s,
logging companies often damage the fragile tropical environment. Sharp criticism from local and
international environmentalist groups gradually led to bans on the direct export of timber from almost all
states, except Sarawak and Sabah. In December 2000, the government and representatives of indigenous
and environ-mentalist groups agreed that there is a need to adopt standards set by the international Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC), which certifies that timber comes from well-managed forests and logging
companies have to be responsible for reforestation. (Faridah, 2002)
In search of grazing areas, they further realized that they should grow plants as food for animals. They
started testing some grain products and slowly developed a taste in plants and the land was used for
cultivation. Groups of persons started living together on their

Agricultural fields, which were subsequently converted into small villages with their farms. Free exchange
of goods was started and the activities were also divided to the extent of division of labor at the village
level to complement the needs of each other. Initially each village was self-sufficient, but later they began
small trading activities on barter basis.

During the Eighth Plan period, the agriculture sector achieved a higher rate of growth than targeted and
contributed towards economic growth and export earnings. There was increased involvement of the
private sector in large scale commercial food production and agro-based industry. During the Ninth Plan
period, the development of the agriculture sector will be intensified to serve as the third engine of growth.
The emphasis will be on New Agriculture, entailing large-scale commercial farming and participation in
high quality and value adding activities leading to enhanced productivity and higher incomes. Target
specific policies and strategies will be implemented to expedite the transformation of the agriculture sector
into a modern, dynamic and competitive sector including with respect to agro-based processing activities
and agricultural entrepreneur development. (SME, 2006)

Socio-economic development programs aimed at improving the economic status of the rural population
involved in agriculture has been one of the main strategic thrusts since independence. Programs involving
human development, technical advisory services, training and financial aids have been implemented and
improved over the years. One of the most important mechanisms is through the extension and technical
advisory services of the Department of Agriculture (DOA) and supported by other related agencies
including Malaysian Agricultural Research Institute (MARDI), Farmers Development Board, Rubber
Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA) and Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority
(FAMA). While in the earlier decades, the approach had been to change the traditional farmers' attitude
into adopting better farming practices and increasing yield, it was only in the nineties that the business
elements began to be included in a more prominent manner through the project impacted extension
programs. Downstream product processing activities had been given greater emphasis giving rise to the
development of micro-enterprises involved in the production and marketing of traditional foods and crafts.
However, the majority of these entrepreneurs earn below RM250,000 per year and only a handful
progressed into the RM250,000 - RM1 0 million category of small enterprises. (Osman, 2007)

As the three regional development projects are being actively pursued, the Agropreneurs in these areas
have to be prepared to make the necessary changes to their usual practices. The impact of such program is
now taking place in NCER. For example, Sime Plantation Sdn Bhd is set to turn 600 farmers into
successful agropreneurs in the next five years through their Sweet Corn Production Venture. (DOA, 2000)

As the three regional development projects are being actively pursued, the Agropreneurs in these areas
have to be prepared to make the necessary changes to their usual practices. The impact of such program is
now taking place in NCER. For example, Sime Plantation Sdn Bhd is set to turn 600 farmers into
successful agropreneurs in the next five years through their Sweet Corn Production Venture. (Sime
website, 2008)