Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Contract Farming System: A Tool to Tranforming Rural Society in Sabah.

Mansur, Kasim and Tola, Mansur and Ationg, Romzi (2009): Contract Farming System: A Tool to Tranforming Rural Society in Sabah.

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Recent decades have seen major change in agricultural technologies as a consequence to various programs for an agricultural development in rural areas of Sabah. Villagers in Sabah have always been receptive to new agricultural technologies that promises to improve their standard of living and as a reflection from the promotion of new agricultural technologies, many peoples in rural areas in Sabah now working with a mix of traditional and modern technologies. Along with the adoption of modern technologies, there has been a rapid transformation to cash economy among rural areas in Sabah (Marten, 1990). However, most villagers in Sabah are still produce almost entirely for home consumption, although the other economic activity of rural peoples in Sabah is small-enterprises as well as “kedai kampung” or rural shop that is registered under the local registration authority. This means, meeting basic household food needs is still the priority of most farmers in Sabah. Most also produced as much as surplus as possible to meet cash needs generated by expanding public education, rural electrification, modern communication (e.g. Radio and Television), and modern transport. It confirmed that most rural societies in Sabah still run their subsistence agricultural economy as compared to cash economy, which generally in farm activities, men do the major task and the women do the very minor task. Alongside with the fact that in this post-modern world most rural society in Sabah involved in agricultural economy, rural population especially among youth has declined. This means that human force for agricultural sector is declined as well. Rural population in Sabah was declining due to migration of younger-age groups. Outward migration among them was caused by the economic purposes such as to find non-agricultural financial resources (work in government sector either in the white or blue collar works). As according to Bryden (2000) villagers often migrated because the trend in agricultural income that is reported as lower than income from other economic activities. Some of them were migrated to the urban areas when they employed as the non-government professional executive level and further their education. Some other (female) moved to follow husband. In short, they were migrated because of work-related reason and to get social fulfillment in the form of further education, social amenities and the family reason. This phenomenon in the future, out migration of youth will leave the youngsters and old folks to maintain the village and at the end, population of rural areas in Sabah will be increasingly independent. Village-base economy especially agricultural production will suffer when the active youth have left for the town. In the other hand, rural poverty profile that is currently high will be increased. Hence, commercialization of agricultural sectors in rural areas assumed as the best resolution to improve villager’s standard of living that is bring about transformation of rural agrarian society from the traditional society to modern agrarian society through contract farming system.

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