Syed Akbar Ali, the banker, businesman, writer as well as the jeweller, wrote recently in his blog http://syedsoutsidethebox.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html that Jim Rogers, one the founder of Quantum Fund (the co-founder is George Soros) predicted that the 21st century would be China’s century. He even sent his children to learn to speak Mandarin to equip them to face the Chinese conquerors. Well, I reckon by now most of us knew that China is THE future. But what he said further should of interest to us, commodities such as palm oils, rice, rubber, corn, etc would of great value in future. He expects the price of commodities to sky rocket in the near future. Countries with vast stock of commodities would do very well. He even joked that, either you become a farmer or sell Lamborghinis to the rich farmers. Come to think of it, despite many people lambasting him as an inept leader, our former PM, AAB, was right in putting the extra effort in increasing our food production and upscaling our agricultural sector. UPM should revert the P back to PERTANIAN. The recent scare about the hike of price of rice, the natural disaster that hit the Philippines and Indonesia was a clear indication that the country really need to pursue technological excellence in agriculture especially in food production to ensure self sufficiency. We can built cars, plane or even send people to the moon, but it would all be useless if we have to rely on others for our food. We would be held at ransom by the producing parties. Well, to be a farmer not a bad proposition after all!. My late dad was a farmer so to speak, but he was poor. He never got the chance to join the FELDA scheme. He toiled on the small plot he inherited from my grandpa. But the plot was shared with his sisters. He tapped rubber in the morning and tended the paddy field in the afternoon. It was a real toil, but we never go hungry. None of us aspire to be a farmer because farming was hard work with scant rewards. We never realised that, that plot provided us with rice, fish, and vegetables day in and day out. Now I realised that our notion of success was tainted. We never knew that we can be successful even as a farmer. Now, it is all too late. I really wish all the restless souls in my kampung would take up the idle lands that has gown into little jungle enclosing the village. After all we have a big LPP’s office in Tasek. It has to be big scale. We must impart the knowledge to these youngsters that working in those factories (kilang simen, kilang bata, kilang ubi, kilang plastic etc) that dotted the Kanthan Industrial estate is scant reward to their efforts. Be good to the mother earth. She will reward you. Learn a bit of Mandarin, you are well equip to meet the challenge of the millennium.