Journal of Sustainable Development
Malaysian Agricultural: Conventional and Extended Thoughts
Pek Chuen-Khee Department of Economics Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Selangor D.E., Malaysia Tel: 6-012-682-3811 Abstract The survival of the agricultural industry from the 1997 financial crisis attack ticks off the importance of this once ‘sun-set’ industry and the re-emphasis of its role as a growth catalyst to Malaysia. Agriculture, unlike the past, is no longer solely a food-based contributor but plays important non-food roles, which are multifunctional; economic, social, cultural and food security. This multifunctionality role of agriculture warrants sustainable development in the longer run. The current scenario of the Malaysian agricultural, specifically sustainable oil palm planting is deliberated against the negative claims of the world environmentalist. Extended thoughts on the possible ways of sustaining economic development through the idea of ‘back to where you belong’, equity and the possible changes of comparative advantage when ecology is considered, and efficiency and equity of ecosystem conservation are discussed. Keywords: Agricultural multifunctionality, Sustainable development, Conventional and Extended thoughts 1. Introduction The Brundtland Commission (1987) defines sustainable development as growth that “meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. As nations grow and standard of living rise, these needs become more complicated and expand into further dimensions. There has been growing consensus on the important linkage of environment and growth in the past years, especially in the context of sustainable agricultural as an aspect of economy growth and preservation of the ecological systems. Why is agriculture unique to sustainable development, chiefly to the countries of ASEAN? The post-mortem of the 1997 financial crisis shows that agriculture is the... [continues]
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