JOHOR BARU, July 2 — The government is allocating RM10 million under the 12th Malaysia Plan to strengthen integrated pest management (IPM) projects and boost the country’s agriculture export, said Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee.
He said the government had allocated RM2.5 million for IPM under the 11th Malaysia Plan, with RM10 million to be made under the 12th Malaysia Plan to ensure safety of food for the people, as well as for export.
“IPM is an approach that should be adopted for all types of fruit and vegetable cultivation in the country, in line with our aspiration to make Malaysia a premium exporter of fruits and vegetables with myGAP certification, making the country a leading exporter which complies with food safety regulations’, “he told reporters after a walkabout and opening of the IPM showroom at the Johor Agricultural Park, Kong Kong, Pasir Gudang, near here, today.
Kiandee is here on a two-day working visit to Johor which began today.
Earlier in his speech, Kiandee said Malaysia received 800 notifications from Singapore, Japan, Germany and Taiwan every year on pesticide residues on food items exported to the countries concerned.
This, he said, gave a negative picture on the safety and quality of Malaysian agricultural products to the importing countries and local markets.
As such, he said, implementation of the IPM system in the agricultural sector would continue to be promoted among local agricultural operators and manufacturers to enhance the quality and safety of local agricultural produce.
In a related development, he said the government had spent more than RM5 million over the last five years for pest control and destruction activities nationwide.
He said three types of pests, namely palm beetles on coconut plants, ‘bacterial panicle blight’ for padi and ‘fall armyworm’ on corn, had caused losses amounting to nearly RM10 million, not only to the crop, but also trade. — Bernama