Developing More Green Agribusiness: The Case for Exploiting Malaysia’s Under-Utilised Rice Straw
AbstractDeveloping more potential green business is at the heart of sustainability. As an important third engine of economic growth Malaysia’s agriculture not only needs to grow, but also more importantly to grow sustainably. Rice provides staple food and abundant potentials for rice-based products, but it also produces abundant post-harvest wastes in the form of straws which do pose some environmentally serious disposal problems. Developing rice straw as raw materials in agri-based enterprises would only strengthen Malaysia’s rice sector through the development of value-added industrial chains while reducing the environmentally less friendly impact of the straw disposal. This paper examines factors that influence entrepreneurs’ decision to utilize rice straw as raw material for agribusiness development. The study involved in-depth interviews of 44 entrepreneurs located in the two largest granary area in Malaysia of the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) region (24 entrepreneurs) and Sekinchan (20 entrepreneurs) in the Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) in North-West Selangor. Results showed that straw availability, straw prices, straw potentials, government supports, and government environmental policies were all factors that may motivate or discourage agripreneurs in Malaysia to utilize rice straw as raw materials in for up-stream or down stream enterprises.
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