MARDI as Agrofood Technology Transfer Powerhouse: A Review

MARDI as Agrofood Technology Transfer Powerhouse: A Review

Published: 2021.04.09
Accepted: 2021.04.09
68
Technology Transfer and Entrepreneur Development Centre, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)
Technology Transfer and Entrepreneur Development Centre, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)
School of Agriculture Science and Biotechnology, Faculty Bioresources and Food Industry, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Malaysia

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to review, incorporate, and discuss the multidisciplinary prospect of agrotechnology transfer by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI). Technology transfer process is the most complex, demanding, and challenging part of the adoption and diffusion of technologies to the target groups. The agrotechnology transfer is simplified as facilitation of the transfer of appropriate technology and to speed up the generation and dissemination of technology through strategic collaboration between MARDI and all stake holders in agriculture sectors. The implementation of agrotechnology transfer in MARDI is categorized into two, which are commercialization of MARDI's intellectual property rights (IP) to private firms and the transfer of public good technology to any technology beneficiary such as SMEs and public society. Under the 10th Malaysia Development Plan (RMK-10) alone, 50 agrotechnologies have been successfully commercialized worth more than RM143 million (US$ 35.3 million). In term of public good technology transfer, two new pest and disease resistant varieties of paddy (Oryza sativa) (MR269 & MR284) have been introduced to farmers with positive impact towards economy and to paddy farmers worth more than RM378 million (US$ 93.4 million). The accomplishment of technology transfer from MARDI to target groups requires a well-planned and structured process, which results in economic spill-over and socio-economic development of the people. Together with strong government policy support, capabilities to conduct research, technological assets in MARDI, and other related aspects, technology transfer agents can work together to ensure that the Malaysian agricultural sector is sustainable and competitive today and onwards.

Keywords: MARDI, Agrotechnology, Technology Transfer, Entrepreneurship

INTRODUCTION

28th October 2019 marked the 50th year’s establishment of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) as a statutory body research institute, after obtaining the approval of the Parliament of Malaysia under the Act 11, MARDI Act 1969, back in October 1969. This institute is served under the roof of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI). During the early days of the establishment, several staff were recruited from other government agriculture-based agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (DOA), the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), as well as experts from overseas. The research activities began to run its engine when the Food Technology Division of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) was absorbed into MARDI in 1975. The research and development (R&D) activities begun in March 1971, and the focus was directed to research and development practices of all agricultural crops excluding rubber.

MARDI’s main office is situated in the district of Serdang in Selangor state, where it consists of ten main research centers and 29 support research stations with land area of more than 4,000 Ha across Malaysia. Geared up with the vision of leading in agro-food research and innovation, MARDI has become the core entity for developing and creating technology and knowledge for sustainable agro-food in Malaysia. Among the focus of MARDI's research and development in the year 2000 are the production of leading technologies for all crops, livestock, food technology, and mixed farming technology such as new high-quality crops variety, production of newly bred livestock, and the Internet of things plant factory crop production. The five decades has proved that MARDI has done a great contribution, where the research and development activities that been carried out had empowering the peasant economy, unravelling the country's agricultural problems, supporting entrepreneurial development, mobilizing agro-food-technology transfer, and leading international expert services to link local and foreign research bodies.

AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

The term “technology transfer” is no more unfamiliar as it is indeed a widely discussed and has been defined in many ways. At first, Eckhardt and Shane (2011) defined “technology” as a specific method than can be used to achieve and accomplish specific objectives by focusing on the optimized utilization of resources. Other than that, technology was generated as a result of the practical knowledge of science in creating alternative methods to simplify the process and to improve the efficiency of production of products or management processes. The development of new technology begins with the initiative to find the solution to a specific problem, the launch of the generated technology, and transfer the benefits to the society for the sustainable economic growth of a nation. This is mainly seen from the perspectives of technology generator like MARDI that acts as a vehicle for agrotechnology transfer in Malaysia, where all the technologies were generated based on the domestic agriculture issues and the appropriate technologies for the farmers with respective to improving their socioeconomic properties.

The agrotechnology transfer is simplified as strategic collaboration, joint effort, or cooperation between MARDI and private organizations, agropreneurs, or farmers. The agrotechnology transfer can be categorized into two categories, namely vertical agrotechnology and horizontal agrotechnology transfer. The vertical agrotechnology transfer is defined as the assembling and production of new technology, devices, or methods in a given technical discipline or scientific field within the same organization in general. Meanwhile, horizontal agrotechnology transfer refers to the transfer that occurs beyond borders like in between firms, industries, or countries (Sachpazidu-Wójcicka, 2018).

In the context of agrotechnology transfer, the process of dissemination of the technology was considered the most critical and challenging in the development and adoption of technology. It is MARDI’s main focus to ensure that the outcomes of their research and development (R&D) are managed to achieve current market demand and have a high impact on the Malaysian agriculture sector and agro-based industry. 

Mechanisms of agrofood technology transfer in MARDI

The definition of technology transfer is broadly understood as the adoption of agro-food research outcomes (solutions) for public benefit. The process of adoption is complicated, which requires the integration of many assets from various sources in the successful delivery of solutions. “Public benefits” are achieved through many mechanisms including public release of information, tools, solutions (adoption of newly generated technology and enhancement of research outcomes by partners through active collaborative research), and development agreements. In general, the function of technology transfer in MARDI is carried out by two centers, which is the Technology Commercialization and Business Center (CB) and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship Development Center (TE). The CB focuses on the commercialization of technology, while the TE focuses on public good technology and entrepreneurship development. Technology generated by researchers can be divided into two main categories, namely commercial technology and public good technology. The Technology Evaluation and Scale Enhancement Program under the CB is fully responsible for the management of technology commercialization. Meanwhile, public applied technology is transferred to the target group consisting of farmers, breeders and entrepreneurs (SMEs) through the Technology Transfer Program under the TE.

 Among the publicly used technologies is paddy varieties, where MARDI is the only government authority that allowed to produce paddy varieties in Malaysia. At TE, agro-food technology transfer is achieved through the adoptions of 13 mechanisms that are performed and practiced under four different programs (TE1 to TE4), at which those mechanisms are recognized as the effective and comprehensive ways in transferring agro-food technology for public benefits. The mechanisms include advisory services, seminars, on-premises problem-solving services, drill training, apprentice/incubators, demonstration, technology manual, technology workshops, practical training in selected farms, courses/technical training, conferences, exhibitions, and bilateral/multilateral relationship networking. Therefore, the agro-food technology-transfer functions are very much highlighted and posited as critical under the TE to accelerate the utility of public research development investments, stimulating economic activity, for job creation and sustainable economic development, as well as enhancing global competitiveness for the Malaysian agriculture sector.

MARDI as the agrofood technology transfer powerhouse

In MARDI, the transfer of agrotechnology is considered as the facilitation of the transfer of appropriate technology and to speed up the generation and dissemination of technology for the adoption of the users. In detail, the process of technology transfer begins with simple dissemination of agrotechnology through technical papers publication to a wide combination of 13 mechanisms of public good dissemination that have been mentioned previously, and a comprehensive package of technology transfer that comprises of physical technology (Dardak, 2016). The newly developed technology must be fully accredited and certified by the technical committee before it is ready to be disseminated to farmers, agropreneurs, as well as other target groups. Agrotechnology transfer in MARDI is categorized into two. The first category is the commercialization of MARDI's intellectual property rights (IP), consisting of patent, trademarks, and technology formulation or trade secrets to private firms, and in in return pay the royalties to MARDI. Meanwhile, the second category is the transfer of public good technology to any technology receivers such as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and public society without any charges (Dardak, 2016). In the context of transferring agrotechnology of public good to Micro and SMEs, and based on the aforementioned statement, MARDI used the 13 methods/tools in speeding up dissemination to the target group, where the 13 methods comply with the criteria of appropriate technologies such as inexpensive-affordable for small enterprise, entrepreneurs compatibility-simple technology and adaptability for most environments, easy to learns (less complicated and easy to operate), have less maintenance, and low in term of maintenance cost (Dardak, 2016).

The nexus between MARDI’s agrotechnology transfer and SME’s developments

The interconnection between MARDI, agrotechnology transfer, and the development of SME's agropreneur has been established for a very long time. MARDI as a powerhouse in generating and transferring agrotechnology has become the backbones to improve the competitiveness and performance of agro-based SMEs. The agrotechnology transfer has become a linking bridge that delivers MARDI’s agrotechnology from the laboratory to the marketplace, whereby the technology is developed by MARDI and adopted by agropreneur SMEs. The generated technologies and adoption create new advantages platform of the SMEs, as well as enabling them to compete in the international market and trade arena. Agrotechnology innovation is the key factor for the agropreneur SMEs. These are the most essential and critical resources for SMEs to thrive in the ever-growing and competitive business surrounding the environment. SME’s agropreneurs should focus on seeking innovation and technology development as the agro-food sector in Malaysia still depends on imported materials to sustain its food security.

In MARDI, the appropriate technologies are developed in order to improvise business operations, increase labor productivity, and efficiency. Therefore, an effective agrotechnology transfer relies on the effectiveness of a team that combines research and development with good business judgment and capability. This situation was comprehended through the aid of the Technology Transfer and Entrepreneur Development Centre, where MARDI acts as an agrotechnology transfer medium that links agrotechnology innovation of MARDI to the agropreneurs. The incapability of SMEs to carry out research and development as well as addressing current agriculture issues due to lack of financial support concerned the government and thus mandated MARDI to generate the appropriate agrotechnology and transfer it to the SMEs. Consequently, it leads to the initiatives of creating the nexus of MARDI, agrotechnology transfer, and SMEs development in Malaysia.

The efforts of MARDI in accommodating supply push and demand pull-in Malaysian agriculture sector

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the trade deficit of foods and beverages shows an increasing trend in the past five years, where the imports raised to RM54 (US$ 13.4) billion in the year of 2018 compared to RM43(US$ 10.6) billion in the year of 2013.  Malaysia's food industry production for basic food is sufficient to supply the domestic demand where out of 33 widely consumed agriculture products, 16 have 100% self-sufficiency ratio (SSR) and are capable to accommodate the domestic demand. On the other hand, Malaysian food industries were responsible as a net exporter for half of the 33 agriculture products such as eggs, pineapples, and long beans. Contrarily, there are several agriculture products with a deficit balance of trade (BOT) such as coconut, chillies, and lamb meat with the SSR less than 80%, and they need to be imported in order to cater the domestic demand. Therefore, from the perspective of technology transfer, there are supply push and demand-pull situation that need to be addressed and MARDI as a front-liner in the agro-food sector has been taking the appropriate measure and collaborative effort in accommodating the situation. Taking the coconut industry as an example, the year of 2018 has recorded Malaysia as the second highest importer country of coconuts, behind Thailand for about 199,000 tonnes and accommodates about 30% of the total global trade imports. Apart from that, the coconuts price has increased in the ranged from RM 1.20 (US$ 0.30) to RM 1.50 (US$ 0.37), and the value has been increasing more than five folds compared to its price a few decades ago. Taking these aspects into consideration and as the fourth largest industrial crops, it can be concluded that the coconut industries is a sunrise industry and can be considered as a new source of wealth.

In the demand-pull situation, the Malaysian coconut industries are seen as less productive due to old planting materials applied through the Malayan Tall coconut, hence the production yields are not as good as expected. In addition, coconut takes a longer time to grow, including its height that makes it difficult to harvest and causing the increase in labor cost. Due to that, in addressing the demand-pull, MARDI through research and development, have been producing new hybrids of coconut varieties that grow faster and shorter in the physical appearance with the purpose to ease the harvesting process at higher yields per hectare. On the other hand, the other ongoing current scenarios are found through the shortage of the hybrids coconut seedling due to higher demands from the existing smallholder and the new player in the industries. In this case, technology transfer plays a critical role in transferring agrotechnology such as the breeding technology for the production of hybrid coconut seedlings to the target firms, and also technical assistance to the farmers on the good agriculture practices of coconut planting. This can be done through the commercialization of MARDI intellectual property rights (IP), where MARDI sells its license of the intellectual property rights and know-how associated with the transferred technology, as well as the transfer of public good technology via technical course training, testbeds, and incubators programs to the target groups. This in return, will increase the production of domestic coconut supplies, improve smallholder farmers' livelihood, socio-economic and fewer dependencies on import coconut materials, besides a great potential for Malaysia to become a net exporter of coconut products in the lucrative global market.

From the side of supply push, MARDI posits as an agrotechnology generator through R&D and transfer the agrotechnology to push the new technology towards people who applying them into products. The demand of agrotechnology on how to produce coconut downstream related products is always high. The technologies include coconut cream powder, low-fat desiccated coconuts, coconuts milk, as well as the technology related to the production of coconut by-products. In this regard, MARDI facilitates the technology transfer, and one of the examples can be found in the production of virgin coconut oil. MARDI helps the SMEs to operate by inventing the efficient and affordable extraction virgin coconut oil machines, testbeds, as well as providing continual technical assistance throughout the process. In addition, disseminating the agrotechnology to the target groups through the 13 mechanism have been recognized as effective methods in the technology transfer. Not only in the coconut industries, MARDI also plays its role as key facilitator in agrotechnology transfer in other agriculture sectors such as rice and livestock. The success of the agrotechnology transfer process not only relied solely upon commitment and involvement of MARDI as technology generator, but it also requires support from the technology recipient (target groups) as the two forces supply push and the demand-pull contribute to the success of agrotechnology transfer in Malaysia.

MARDI impacts measurement and evaluation on technology transfer

Technology transfer from a government research institution to private firms is a process of matching the technological opportunity created by the technology generator to business opportunity demanded by the entrepreneur. The accomplishment of technology transfer is determined by the ability of an entrepreneur to develop a new product that can be marketed profitably.  At the end, a successful technology transfer is measured by the amount of royalty paid by the entrepreneur to MARDI. In general, MARDI commercialized its technology by licensing the IP of the technology to private firm for five years (subject to be extended to another five years). As a return, the private firm manufactured or fabricate the technology for public consumption. The private firm has to pay royalty to MARDI, and the value is agreed upon the signing of the agreement.

MARDI collects the royalty from the entrepreneur every six month, based on the value of the technology sold to customers. A team of auditors from MARDI will evaluate the financial account of the business which is related to the technology only. After both parties (MARDI and entrepreneur) agreed with the financial performance, the amount of royalty will be calculated and invoiced to the entrepreneur. The royalty must be paid by the entrepreneur within 30 days after it receive the invoice.  

MARDI also evaluates the performance of a transferred technology regularly. A team of officers from the commercial unit and the technology generator will visit the factory or meet the end user to evaluate the performance of the end products.  In some cases, MARDI upgrades the technology or revised the formulation should there is a need to improve the performance of the technology. Regular meetings between the technology generator and the entrepreneur are carried out to understand the issues and solve the problem. At the end, both parties are happy to extend the agreement of the commercialization of MARDI’s technology.

Case study of transferring agricultural technology from MARDI to private firms

Taking the case study conducted by Dardak & Adham in 2014, the transfer technology mechanism is taken through commercialization, while a process of technology transfer from MARDI to private firms is attained through licensing agreements. The case study revealed that the ability of the entrepreneurs (private firms) to recognize business opportunities is influenced by his entrepreneurial traits.  The main issues in the process of technology transfer from a government research institution to private firm include the recognition of technological opportunity, the dynamic process of technology transfer and the critical success factors. In all cases of technology transfer, technological opportunity was discovered from problems faced by people in the industry. The development of new technology initiates the process of technology transfer. It started with the recognition of business opportunity by a person who has entrepreneurial characteristic, and the process of technology transfer will follow.

Generally, the process of technology transfer from a government research institution to private firms includes: development of new technology, approval for commercialization, commercialization and post-commercialization. However, the process ends up with successful and failed technology transfer. In other words, similar process of technology transfer will not guarantee the same result. The process of technology transfer is dynamic and comprehensive. The recognition of technological and business opportunities will not guarantee a successful technology transfer. It must be supported by other factors, such as the willingness of the technology generator to share knowledge and the ability of the technology recipient to absorb it. The people in both organizations must be passionate about technology transfer and they must also commit and be involved in the entire process of technology transfer.

The greatest impact of technology transfer from a government research to private firms is the ability of new technology to solve problems faced by consumers in the industries. For example, the commercialization of silage making machine has successfully reduced the cost of animal feed for ruminants. This machine speeds up the process of making silage from agricultural waste such as oil palm fronds and corn plant for cattle. On the other hand, the commercialization of mechanical coconut dehusking machine has reduced the labor force in the coconut industry, while the transfer of new variety of rice has increased the yield of paddy per hectare. 

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF AGROTECHNOLOGY TRANSER

Agricultural research and technology transfer have been assembled in the rest of the world's economies. There are substantial number of economic impact studies that have been undertaken in recent years, evaluating the contributions of research and technology transfer programs to improve agro-based target groups such as farmers, consumer welfare, and SMEs development. Economic impact evaluations that are based on technology transfer differ from other evaluations, where they measure economic benefits composed by the technology transfer program and associate the benefits with the economic costs of the program. By computing a benefit or cost ratio or other associated economic parameter calculation such as the present value of benefits net of costs, or internal rates of return on investment. Many evaluations such as the "monitoring and evaluation" activities conducted by MARDI specifically the TE Center extension projects, have provided indicators of benefits (such as the number of beneficiaries) or of project outputs (entrepreneurs visited, experiments completed, etc.). However, less data is available in term of the actual value measures of benefits and costs, such as how much the increase of the net income per Malaysian Ringgit expended by the entrepreneur through the technology transfer engagement. These evaluations are important and useful as the government funds are translated into innovative technology generated by government research institute.

Other than that, the evaluation of economic impact are also intended to measure whether a project or program had or is expected to have an economic spill over, and associate the impacts with project or program costs. This is seen through the budget allocation by the federal government through the Malaysia Development Plan (RMK) in agro-based sector. Many extension and research projects and programs have had significant economic impacts. This can be seen through the effort of MARDI in the development of agro-based entrepreneurs, SMEs with the Young Agropreneurs program, and also poverty eradication in Malaysia under the AZAM Tani program. The Young Agropreneurs program is created in helping the young generation entrepreneur to coordinate agriculture technology transfer. MARDI agropreneur clinics are held in order to give guidance to the entrepreneurs by providing technical services. This is in line with the recommendation by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) to produce young agropreneurs and transform the agriculture sector into a modern and dynamic sector that promises higher income. Therefore, the MARDI Young Agropreneurs program was carried out to facilitate the transfer of the appropriate technology to the young agropreneurs. This program is responsible n assisting, guiding, and formulating entrepreneurship packages based on the compatibility and demand of the current young generation. This program will change the stigma, perception, and attract young people to participate in the agricultural and agro-based industries. The year 2019 has shown a total of RM 1,404,000 (US$334,286) million young agropreneurs grants was approved. The grants have benefited 86 young agropreneurs and eleven public good technologies have been successfully transferred, such as food packaging and labeling technology, food additive technology, and frozen food processing technology. Apart from that, the Young Agropreneurs program is also involved in assisting product marketing and promotion.

On the other hand, MARDI is also involved in poverty eradication programs through agriculture and agro-based industry. The Azam Tani is a project that helps to increase the household income of the target groups, where economic project assistance is provided to the individual participants who are interesting in crops, livestock, fisheries, commercial crops, food processing, and agriculture services. The program is carried out through public good technology transfer to the head of the household of a hardcore poor, poor, and vulnerable household. The project has been carried out since 2009 and the data in 2014 has shown that it has improved the economic status of 72.75% of 1,200 participants. The participants managed to increase their household income to at least RM300 (US$71.40) per month, which is 40% higher than their initial income before joining the project. Interestingly, another result shows that 3.2% of the participants obtained a gross monthly income of RM5,000 (US$1,190) to RM20,000 (US$4,762) a month (MARDI, 2016). The economic evaluation of a technology transfer program is not a simple process where many technology transfer programs require a relatively long development period prior to showing results. Therefore, evaluation during this development period may not fully reflect the total impact. The final aspects of a technology transfer evaluation program are data analysis and report. The data analysis is the final judgment of the evidence against the evaluation criteria. On this basis, it is possible to determine, not only program success or failure, but also the reasons for that result. A very important aspect of the full evaluation process is the final report. The evaluation will give an insight into the development of future agro-based policies for effective technology transfer project or program.

SUMMARY, GENERAL OUTLOOK FOR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, AND NEW HORIZON PERSPECTIVES

As discussed in the previous section, and in assessing the technology transfer, it provides a realistic outlook to the pre-requisite for credible evaluation of transfer accomplishment. This for instance has taken into high consideration the intricacy involved in making intrepidity about the efficiency of technology transfer policies and particular technology transfers mechanism. With the objective of ensuring the efficiency of technology transfer activities, MARDI should devise internal policies that ensures technology transfer to match with the technology transfer capabilities. The development of a refine understanding of the framework and perspectives indicators will provide strong foundation of transfer success. MARDI, as an institution, should also develop more useful case studies for enterprises and aim to propose a standard evaluation for apprehension or guidance of assessment as it will shed more light on technology transfer success. Undoubtedly, a good evaluation will return high reward, for both individual researcher and the technology generator domain level. However, this in return does require a complementary engagement to invest significant resources, time and funds into the assessment process.

The recognized aptitude channel for future studies is highlighting remarks for researchers of technology transfer to use case study and impact study for the evaluation and measurement indicators in the effectiveness of technology transfer. This is to provide research of technology transfer regardless of the level of focal point, where researchers should use the full spectrum of specialized methodological and data collection approach, and be more empirical in their experimental design of studies of technology transfer. In addition, researchers should take into account the establishment of international, wide sector range, and long-term datasets that allow cross border correlation and potentially multiple analysis that farther advances the field. The results will provide reliable data for policymakers, and recipients of technology in enhancing their judgment and lead to opportunities to broaden the background of studies in terms of institutional and other authority locale. In addition, research is needed to probe further the effectiveness of technology transfer mechanisms, as it appears useful to access holds potential, particularly those programs affiliated with MARDI, as a means of encouraging agro-based economic growth and development. Meanwhile, SMEs, as a very essential system, are contemplated the backbone of Malaysia's economy.

Innovation, technology, and capacity development in the agro-based sector are among the most critical components for SMEs to be competitive in both domestic and international markets. The newly generated technologies and innovations in agrotechnology lift off the productivity, efficiency of business operations and enable the SME to offer brand new products to their buyer. Continued advancement of new technology will enable SMEs to compete with their competitors in an environment of increased global competition and economic uncertainty especially in the food security field. In terms of econometrics, the evidence for economic impacts of research and extension programs are apparently comprehensive with such the evidence gained from development programs like Azam Tani and Young Agropreneurs programs. Those programs show that the majority of the IRR estimates indicate a high social rate of return to the investments made. Many research and extension programs need to improvise as a whole as those are poorly managed with resource-constrained that must be overcome in order to produce decent statistical analyses of field trials. On the other hand, in the context of entrepreneurship, the study by Dardak (2016) confirms that opportunity recognition is a highly significant factor for a successful technology transfer from MARDI to a private firm, as it is aiding with strong initiatives and linkages for the technology transfer process to occur.

However, the accomplishment of technology transfer must be contributed by other factors such as the comprehensives shares of technological knowledge by technology generator with the technology recipient, engagement and dedication of the technology generator, technology recipient, and all people in the whole framework of technology transfer. On the other hand, the process of transferring public good technology from the analytical data of the target group has shown positive turnout in terms of benefits and profits, including the brand new products creation, enhancement of process methodology, as well as the assistance of equipment, test-bed, and product quality improvement. This value chain is a platform where the agro-based sector lags behind in the development of entrepreneurs and agro-based SMEs in Malaysia. Based on the current agro-food sector in Malaysia, there are still many areas of space and hurdles to be addressed. These areas include the adoption of new technologies in production and marketing that meet the standards of presentation, packaging, and the standard certification, which meet the standards of quality, safety, nutritional content required in the market, as well as the adoption of creative business models necessary for the organization of production. For all this, it remains as a task for the technology generator with technological capabilities such as MARDI to do more promotion of this type of transfer of technology activities based on the developed 13 methods which were mentioned previously.

On the other hand, the government must endlessly continue with the initiatives to support the R&D institutions and agency-industry linkage and networking. Socio-economic benefits can also be derived at the regional and national levels, such as the generation of jobs, the development and introduction of new value- added products, and the training of human resources, all of which devoting to enhance the economy.

From this review, it is observed in the agro-food sector that, there are both opportunities for enhancement and unexploited spectrum of research and development in technology transfer consisting of the transfer mechanism and dissemination, and also the evaluation and measurement in technology transfer. The data analysis of the study by MARDI is contributing to the classification of effective elements that helps to recommend the best technology transfer framework model and mechanism. As a final remark, the agricultural technological innovation of MARDI and its role of agrotechnology generator powerhouse are keys in strengthening agricultural sector competitiveness. The technology transfer has driven the Malaysian economic gains and will surely help to drive future economic prosperity in terms of agropreneurs and agro-based SMEs development. Together with the strong government policy support, the capability, technological assets in MARDI, and other related technology transfer agents, those can collaborate in ensuring the Malaysian agricultural sector to sustain and stay competitive for today and onwards.

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