The Federal Agricultural Marketing Agency (FAMA) is not a foreign name in the eyes of Malaysia’s agriculture scene. Since its formation on the 30th of September 1965, FAMA has continued to carry out its charge in monitoring, coordinating, controlling and developing the product marketing of Malaysian agriculture, including that of import and export. Staying true to its mission to develop an efficient and effective food and agricultural marketing chain in order to sustain customer value, FAMA has detailed every step and every action to fit different types of farmers and entrepreneurs who benefits under its shade. The Farmer’s Market exists in a bid to help farmers distribute their produce directly, and to reduce a dependency on the middle man, which automatically cuts down on the farmers’ incomes. The visit to a maize plantation in Kodiang, one of the contract farmers under the FAMA initiative to help the growth of plantations, is proof of how a group of farmers in the area utilise their lands. Despite said lands being unsuitable for paddy planting, these farmers have managed to work it to their advantage anyway, turning the lands into sweet corn plantations. Indeed, corn needs a minimum of 90 days to mature, which allows for these farmers to have at least 3 to 4 seasons a year, compared to paddy which peaks at two seasons. Corn that is harvested here is sold directly to local farmer's markets, and also to local institutions and supermarkets in Jitra, Alor Star and Sg. Petani. On occasion, the harvest also travels up north to Perlis during events or expos organised by FAMA. Not content with merely helping these local farmers through the creation of direct channels in which they can market their harvest, FAMA also provides technical advisory on systematic farm management and opportunities to attend courses and training so as to improve, motivate and add knowledge in agriculture. This, combined with marketing and promotion and creating channels for distribution completes the cycle. There are two ways to employ marketing methods for these farmers; first, via a FAMA prepared market arrangement to manufacturers or processors, hyper and supermarkets such as the Rural Transformation Centre (RTC), pasar tani, wholesale markets and fresh fruit stall (GBBS), Agro-based Entrepreneurs.
Secondly, these products can also be directly purchased by FAMA in the form of purchases by percentage contracts, where, as an example, 50% of all production is sold to FAMA for their own house brand Agromas, as well as for FAMA’s newest venture, the Agrobazaar Malaysia groceraunt in Singapore. The other 50% is then sold by farmers themselves, and also via seasonal lease contracts. It’s not just farmers that are benefitting from FAMA’s good work. Their entrepreneurs are also reaping benefits aplenty via product development and branding programmes which aim to enhance the image of products in terms of packaging and labelling design that meet market requirements, indirectly increasing sales. On top of that, FAMA has also created a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their products beyond standard methods. Dr. Aishah Tul Radziah L. Husin is one such entrepreneur who always works hand in hand with FAMA.