Govt to encourage collaboration with foreign investors to increase meat supply

GEMAS, Dec 23 — The government will encourage local entrepreneurs to collaborate with foreign investors to enhance the supply of meat in the country.

This is one of the main points outlined under the Ministry Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry’s (MoA) new direction, which is expected to be launched early next year, its minister, Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said.

“This new direction is aimed at assisting ministries, departments and agencies to elevate all players in the agricultural sector.

“My intention is to ensure that food supply is sufficient (to cater to the people),” he said at the launch of the Mega Agro Carnival of the Tampin Parliamentary Constituency here today.

Present were Member of Parliament for Tampin Datuk Dr Hasan Bahrom and State Agriculture and Agro-based Action Committee Chairman Bakri Sawir.

Salahuddin said currently the meat supplied by local entrepreneurs made up only 24 per cent of the market demand while the rest was imported.

“I am encouraging foreign investors to collaborate with local players so that the meat industry can move fast.

“It’s bad to import a bigger volume compared to exploring collaboration potentials between local players and foreign investors,” he said.

Salahuddin said the government would also ensure that agricultural products, especially padi smallholding, could be improved to increase the household income of farmers in the country.

“As our staple food is rice, we need to improve the padi and rice industry so that rice supply can be sufficient during peaceful or hard times,” he said.

He said the MOA also wanted to improve the production of quality fruits and vegetables for the export market, as well as increase fish catches and ensure that they were free of any irregularities to ensure that seafood could be purchased at reasonable prices.

“About 1,000 fishing boat licences were approved during the previous government administration but many irregularities had happened like selling catches in the open sea,” he said.

Salahuddin said under the new direction, he would direct the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority to create a hypermarket for the agricultural products of local farmers. — Bernama

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