Govt to focus on improving self-sufficiency, enhancing food security - Anwar
KUALA LUMPUR - The government will focus on efforts to improve the self-sufficiency level (SSL) and strengthen food security, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said it included increasing the area under crop cultivation but optimising the use of existing farmland as well.
"(in addition), increase the resilience of the agro-food sector through the application of agricultural technology to increase productivity for the benefit of small farmers.
"This includes regenerative agriculture approaches, climate resilient crops as well as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology," he said when launching the ‘MADANI Economy: Empowering the People’ initiative here today.
In order to support the local food industry to increase production, Anwar, who is also the Minister of Finance, said a total of RM200 million has been allocated under Agrobank to help provide financing facilities especially for the application of modern agricultural technology.
Apart from this, he said the government has announced a commitment to improve the irrigation infrastructure in the areas of the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) in Kedah and Perlis to increase the productivity of rice production to five seasons within two years involving infrastructure worth RM3 billion.
"Malaysia is rich in natural treasures and has the oldest forests in the world. The plantation sector and downstream industries are important sources of the economy but we need to reassess our approach to land use.
"So far, a total of 5.7 million hectares of land has been used for oil palm cultivation and almost two million hectares for rubber," said Anwar.
To that end, he said one of his aspirations is to create biodiversity assets in the carbon trading market through conservation and reforestation efforts.
"Madani Economy: Empowering the People" sets seven benchmarks as medium-term targets to be achieved before 10 years, among which Malaysia is ranked among the 30 largest economies in the world, the Global Competitiveness Index ranks 12th in the world and the percentage of labour income reaches 45 percent of total income.
Also present at the event were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali. - BERNAMA