KOTA BARU, Feb 26 — The escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine will not adversely affect national food security, said Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister II, Datuk Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh.

He said that the conflict would not directly affect food supply since Russia and Ukraine were not Malaysia’s target for import and export including agricultural products, apart from the fact that they are also located quite a distance from Malaysia.

“They are not major export or import countries for Malaysia. If we cannot carry out export and import with these two countries, we can switch to other countries, in fact, to date, we depend a lot on China and Thailand,” he said.

He said this to reporters after launching a durian cultivation investment and development course at the Kompleks Serai Wangi rural transformation centre (RTC) hall, in Tunjong here today.


The course saw the participation of 50 existing durian farmers, including new entrepreneurs from several states.

Meanwhile, commenting on the course, Zawawi said it was one of the focuses under the 12th Malaysia Plan through the High-Value Crops Marketing and Investment Incentive programme, to boost the supply of high-valued produce in the market.

He said that the ministry had also approved an allocation of RM45 million for a Long-Term Fruit Farming Development Project, especially durian for plantation infrastructure development, input supply and others.


“Comparatively, a total RM69.9 million worth of durian was exported in 2016 and RM144.7 million in 2020. This shows a surge in the export of durian of 107 per cent, or RM74.8 million, within a five-year period.

“We are intensifying efforts to expand market access to promote durian in existing and new markets. Among the new markets being explored are Australia, New Zealand and Russia,” he added. — Bernama