Budget 2024: Focus on agriculture development, remove all red tapes says expert
SHAH ALAM - Agriculture development should be one of the key focus in the upcoming Budget 2024.
Fomca Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Saravanan Thambirajah said this was to reduce the nation's dependency on imports.
"We need to understand that we are a net importers of food and our import bill is up to almost RM60 billion, where we spend on importing meat, rice, chicken, eggs, and fruits.
"If in the budget we can focus on developing our own agriculture, in the future we can reduce our dependency on imports," he said.
Saravanan made this point during an episode of Sinar Daily's Wacana English Edition programme entitled 'Cost of Living: Too hard to handle?'
Saravanan added that there is a need for the nation's agriculture policy to undergo some radical changes.
Saravanan said with the proper food security policy plan, Malaysia could be the net exporter in the next 10 years. He said it was vital for Malaysia to bring in more technologies and innovation into the agriculture industry.
To make this a success, he urged the government to remove the red tapes and gather all industry players to strengthen the agriculture policy and industry.
"Farming involves land and land doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government and there is so much red tape.
"Inter agencies have so much conflict of interests as well so the government must look into how we can remove all these red tapes and bring everyone in the agriculture industry together to build a stronger industry and policy," he said