PUTRAJAYA: A marketing agency will be established to help rural entrepreneurs tap into local and international markets.
“It can promote smart-sharing among rural entrepreneurs and various interest groups, including the private sector, to widen networking, expand the supply chain and penetrate the export market, ” said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when opening the five-day Rural Entrepreneurship Carnival here yesterday.
The carnival at Presint 3 ends on Oct 21.
Dr Mahathir urged rural entrepreneurs to enhance their competitiveness by embracing technology and automation in order to increase productivity, lower operations cost and assure consistent quality.
The Rural Development Ministry identified rural entrepreneurship as one of its key thrusts in the Rural Development Policy 2030.
It has taken the right step to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among rural folk, specifically among women and youths.
It is part of the initiatives drawn to bridge urban-rural income gap, in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 that emphasises an equitability of outcomes, among other goals.
Dr Mahathir said that those who continue to enhance their competitiveness and improve the quality of their products may succeed in penetrating the global market, adding that some entrepreneurs already succeeded in going global.
Several strategies have been implemented to help rural entrepreneurs capture the domestic market and eventually penetrate the global market.
“(But) we need to take into consideration setbacks faced by target groups because of differences in environments and economic backgrounds, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir revealed that the government allocated RM200mil for the retail and wholesale industry as part of its initiative to promote entrepreneurship.
Another RM100mil was also allocated to provide loans for young rural entrepreneurs.
Another RM52mil was allocated for various entrepreneurship and agro-based industry training programmes to promote youth participation in the agrofood sector.
However, Dr Mahathir said the government’s initiative to produce rural entrepreneurs will not yield the desired results if there was lack of participation and interest in the opportunities created.
At the same time, he added that rural entrepreneurs must also work tirelessly, and always look at improving the quality of their products.