BANGI, Oct 30 ― The government targets to increase its self-sufficiency level (SSL) for food from the current 70 per cent to 80 per cent by year 2023, said Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub.
He believed the country could achieve the target through the concerted efforts of agriculturalists, policy makers, entrepreneurs and business leaders to adopt more efficient business models and forge public-private partnerships.
Speaking to reporters after launching the Asia Pacific Conference on Food Security (ARCOF) 2018, Salahuddin said the ministry would also re-look into its agriculture policies, as well as to enhance new technology and approach to increase SSL and achieving a stable food security.
“I think we have to fulfil our main obligation which is to increase our SSL especially on paddy. Now, it is 70 per cent. My new direction is to increase between 75 to 80 per cent in five years.
“Secondly, I also want to increase the income of farmers, which currently stands below RM1,000, as this would complement for a better yield through the production of other types of crops,” he said.
Describing this as a great challenge for him, Salahuddin said the ministry would also promote and encourage farmers to plant new sources of income such as durian, jackfruit, pineapple and several other crops.
In his speech earlier, Salahuddin had called on all industry players to collaborate and work together to harness our expertise, and a strong political will to address a range of issues from poverty and disease afflictions, access to facilities, poor logistics, corruption, food wastage and unpredictable climate change.
“Actually the world produces enough food for everyone but not everyone gets enough food. We just have to improve its availability, access and utilisation across global communities. We have to continuously rethink how we grow, share and consume our food.
“We will need to use every technology available, alongside with best practice farming approaches to increase production, but this has to be accompanied by changes to food demand including measures on both consumption and waste,” he added.
On Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Show 2018 (MAHA 2018), which will be held from November 22 to December 2, Salahuddin said it provided an unique and different platform this year to exhibit new drone technology, robotic sectors, Internet of Thing innovation and several other innovative approaches in agriculture.
“This year's MAHA 2018 will create more awareness to educate people on technology and new innovation in order to adopt and ensure that the agriculture industry moves to modern farming in our country,” he said. ― Bernama