M'sia mulls purchasing Russian grain to produce animal feed - Agriculture minister

20 May 2023 04:07pm
Malaysian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu - BERNAMA
Malaysian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu - BERNAMA

MOSCOW, Russia - Malaysia recognises the high quality of Russian grain and plans to start purchasing it for the production of animal feed, Malaysian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu told Sputnik.

"Undoubtedly, Russian grain has among the best quality as Russia is the main world exporter. Therefore, Malaysia is considering Russian grain as one of its potential resources for animal feed that help to stabilise the affordability of the poultry supply in the country," Mohamad said.

He noted that cooperation with Russia in that field can be really beneficial for both countries, even though Malaysia imports wheat from other countries now.

"Malaysia is searching for higher quality animal feed with better prices. This understanding could benefit both countries," he said.

Besides, Malaysia is also looking into purchasing fertilisers from Russia to support its own agriculture, the minister said.

"Indeed, exploring fertiliser options with good pricing from Russia will indeed be a good strategy, as Malaysia is also finding ways to reduce agriculture input costs, which leads to high food prices," he said,

Mohamad also said that Russia is a world-leading country in exports of high quality raw materials for fertiliser production.

"Among the raw materials exported by Russia are natural gas, urea, ammonium sulphate and phosphoric acid. In this regard, Malaysia seeks Russia's consideration to offer trading opportunities to Malaysia on Russia's fertilisers, which could further minimise the supply chain disruptions, particularly in the price and supply of high-quality inputs. We will send our official to Russia to discuss over this issue," he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia also hopes for easier access to Russia for its tourists and food exports, said Mohamad Sabu

The minister, who came to Moscow this week to negotiate closer trade ties with Russia, said tough visa rules made it difficult for common Malaysians to travel to the country.

He also said that living in "a world of Western influence and propaganda about China, Russia, and Iran, people still want to know the truth.

"And to do that, they need to be able to come to Russia and see everything with their own eyes - so, make it easier for them!" he said.

The minister also said that Malaysia was looking to supply Russians with tropical fruit and aquaculture products, such as shrimps. Russia is buying pineapples from Costa Rica and mangoes from South Africa, while Malaysia can also give it durians and more, he argued.

Additionally, Mohamad Sabu invited Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev to Malaysia to sign the memorandum of understanding, which "might lead to a plausible FTA (free trade agreement) in the future." Currently, he said, Russian and Malaysian working groups are engaged in eliminating all possible obstacles to trade between the countries.

Earlier in the day, Patrushev said Russia is eager to increase food supplies to Malaysia. He specified that there is a great potential in exports of sunflower and soybean oils, wheat, peas, poultry, beef, dairy products, and fish.

Russia-Malaysia trade in agricultural goods grew by 18 percent in 2022, the Russian Agriculture Ministry said, adding that the positive growth is also evident this year. - BERNAMA-SPUTNIK