rags to riches - engaging technologies to eradicate poverty

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The AZAM Tani Programme with the overarching goal to increase the income of the hardcorepoor by providing economic assistance to agricultural projects based on cash crop cultivation,fisheries, livestock, processing of agricultural products, agro-based business and agricultureservices. The implementation of innovative technological and management systems showed thatMalaysia has been successful in decreasing the poverty rate from 3.8% in 2009 to 1.7% in 2012.The AZAM Tani Programme implemented by MARDI managed to increase the economic status of54% of 1,760 participants. These participants increased their household income by 40% or higher.Malaysia has taken the bold step of using the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) to transformthe government delivery of services to be more efficient through optimal use of national resourcesand reduce the gap that exists in various public and private organizations. In the blue oceanstrategy approach, the unused land in Sepang owned by the Ministry of Defence that is unsuitablefor conventional agriculture have been successfully transformed into a high-tech agricultural areas.The funding of this project (utilizing the unused land) was provided by the Ministry of Women,Family and Community Development under the Azam Tani Programme. This approach choosesto use a new cultivation technology that involves a soilless production system called “fertigation”.The AZAM Tani Programme with the support of NBOS approach has contributed to the success oferadication of poverty. The achievements have been recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture andAgro-based Industry and The Implementation and Coordination Units (ICU) in the Prime Minister’sDepartment of Malaysia

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  • RAGS TO RICHES:ENGAGINGTECHNOLOGIESTO ERADICATE POVERTY

  • iEXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    The AZAM Tani Programme with the overarching goal to increase the income of the hardcore poor by providing economic assistance to agricultural projects based on cash crop cultivation, fisheries, livestock, processing of agricultural products, agro-based business and agriculture services. The implementation of innovative technological and management systems showed that Malaysia has been successful in decreasing the poverty rate from 3.8% in 2009 to 1.7% in 2012. The AZAM Tani Programme implemented by MARDI managed to increase the economic status of 54% of 1,760 participants. These participants increased their household income by 40% or higher. Malaysia has taken the bold step of using the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) to transform the government delivery of services to be more efficient through optimal use of national resources and reduce the gap that exists in various public and private organizations. In the blue ocean strategy approach, the unused land in Sepang owned by the Ministry of Defence that is unsuitable for conventional agriculture have been successfully transformed into a high-tech agricultural areas. The funding of this project (utilizing the unused land) was provided by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development under the Azam Tani Programme. This approach chooses to use a new cultivation technology that involves a soilless production system called fertigation. The AZAM Tani Programme with the support of NBOS approach has contributed to the success of eradication of poverty. The achievements have been recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and The Implementation and Coordination Units (ICU) in the Prime Ministers Department of Malaysia.

  • iiInnovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    Innovative management and appropriate technologies to eradicate hardcore poverty

  • 1Innovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    INTRODUCTION

    The Government Transformation Programme (GTP) was introduced to improve the quality of public sector delivery to achieve vision 2020. Accordingly, the seven National Key Result Areas (NKRA) were created under the GTP initiative. One of the NKRA is to enhance the living standards of low-income households led by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. Under the NKRA low-income households, there are 49 initiatives that support 12 service strategies. One of these initiatives is the AZAM Tani Programme entrusted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MOA) as Project Champion across the states in Peninsular Malaysia.

    To assist the low-income household, the Government Transformation Programme version 1.0 (GTP 1.0 : 2010 to 2012) was set to eradicate poverty by the end of December 2010 and reduce it to 2.8%. Statistics in 2009 showed that 190,000 poor and hardcore poor families were enrolled in the eKasih Programme. The eKasih Programme is the electronic listing of hardcore poor registered under the Prime Ministers Department of Malaysia. The targeted number of families involved in the 1 AZAM Programme is 47,000 and the GTP 1.0 target was 27,000 families affected by a range of 1 AZAM Programme. For GTP 2.0 (2013 to 2015), a new target has been set to reduce the poor and hardcore poor from 3.8 % to 2.0%. The 1 AZAM Programme setting involved 20,000 participants and the remaining 96,000 participants will be assisted by other programmes such as education and 1 Malaysia Peoples Aid.

    Four initiatives in the implementation of the 1 AZAM Programme are AZAM Niaga, AZAM Khidmat, AZAM Kerja and AZAM Tani. This programme is implemented by various ministries, departments and agencies. AZAM is the synonym for AKHIRI ZAMAN MISKIN (Ending of Poverty Age). The AZAM Tani is implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MOA) by its various departments and agencies. The AZAM Tani Programme was selected by the MOA as the Champion Project to help the hardcore poor households to increase their income through economic aid in the agriculture sector and agro-based industries.

  • 2Innovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    BACKGROUND

    MARDI has been implementing the AZAM Tani Programme in several states to increase the individual income of 1,730 households by 40%. The AZAM Tani Programme has become one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) under the MOA scorecard since 2010. The number of participants involved in the project from 2011 to 2014 is shown in Table 1 and Figure 1.

    Table 1 : Number of participants in different states involved in the AZAM Tani

    Programme

    STATEYEAR

    2011 2012 2013Selangor 850 30 -

    Perak - 240 80Kelantan - 90 150

    Terengganu - 100 50Pahang - - 50Kedah - - 50Melaka - - -

    Pulau Pinang - - -Johor - - 40Total 850 460 420

  • 3Innovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    Objectives of the project are to:

    i. increase the income of the eKasih household through economic assistance projects in agriculture and agricultural based industries,

    ii. increase the knowledge, skills and competencies of the eKasih household in agriculture through self-reliance and technical training provided by MARDI and

    iii. assist in the removal of participants from the shackles of poverty which will be in line with the governments aspiration to become a high-income developed nation by 2020.

    Figure 1 : The number of households involved in the AZAM Tani Programme (2011 - 2013)

  • 4Innovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    SELECTION OF HARDCORE POOR HOUSEHOLD

    The hardcore poor are those earning less than the level of the poverty line income (PLI) for food determined according to the current balance of dietary nutritional requirements of a family released by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Prime Ministers Department of Malaysia (2012). The hardcore poor of the country are listed in the eKasih Programme from which the participants are selected (Pictures 1 and 2)

    Participants of the AZAM Tani Programme consist of:

    i. heads and members of hardcore poor households,

    ii. single mothers,

    iii. people with disabilities,

    iv. aborigines and

    v. vulnerable groups who were former drug addicts, HIV AIDS and ex-bandits.

    Pictures 1 and 2 : Hardcore poor households in Malaysia

  • 5Innovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    The participants are screened for their potential in terms of their commitments, interests, skills, suitability of the project sites and individual capabilities to carry out the economic activities. The engagement of the officers in the screening process is crucial for the success of the activities to be taken by the participants (Pictures 3 and 4).

    Pictures 3 and 4 : Screening process by the officer

  • 6Innovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    INNOVATION OF IMPLEMENTATION

    This programme is the hallmark responsibility of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) scientists involving social motivation and technology utilisation by the lowest strata of a society. In this programme, a number of innovations were applied in the selection of project activities, structural supports, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) development, technical training, motivation and family financial management. Continuous monitoring and personal coaching of the project activities are also the key elements of this programme (Pictures 5 and 6). In this programme, the participants are given aid in-kind in terms of tools, agriculture inputs and small equipments (Pictures 7 and 8). However, no monetary aid is given to the participants.

    Pictures 5 and 6 : Group assembly and continuous monitoring by the officer

    Pictures 7 and 8 : Small equipments

  • 7Innovative management and appropriate technologiesto eradicate hardcore poverty

    The model shown in Figure 2 is strongly supported by excellent work culture that has always been practiced by scientists of MARDI. A task force has been established to implement and monitor the performance of the programme. A key component of this programme is based on implementing the activities using appropriate technologies suggested by MARDI scientists based on participants capabilities. Programme participants are also able to choose activities easily and quickly according to the local environment and therefore be able to generate income quickly (quick returns to investment) (Figure 3).

    In this model:

    i. Project activities selected must produce results quickly (Quick Return) between 3 and 6 months of implementation, provide good returns, produce products/services that are marketable, viable and sustainable.

    ii. Implementation of the contract farming, mentor-mentee and anchor concepts are recommended.

    iii. For individual project activity, priority should be given to selected participants. Project selection should be based on the interests, capability and skills of the participants.

    iv. For the project activity managed by the anchor, participants are passive recipients of dividends selected from the non-productive hardcore poor consisting of single parents, the disabled and the elderly.

    Figure 2 : Model of the project

  • Figure 4 shows that 38% of the participants preferred choice for quick returns was the category of processing agro-based products. Seventeen percent preferred agriculture services which required a small capital while 9% preferred agro-based business.

    Figure

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