JOHOR BARU, Sept 19 — The Johor Agriculture Department has received RM16.66 million from the Finance Ministry to implement a Food Security Programme in a move to turn the state into the nation’s main food production hub.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said with the allocation, the department would coordinate six programmes involving 1,583 recipients comprised of leading companies and entrepreneurs, beginning this year until 2022, to ensure adequate food supply, which is also safe to consume.
He said from the amount allocated, some RM2 million would be channelled for a collaboration programme between leading companies and farmers as well as the Agro-Based Industry (IAT).
“This programme is a collaboration between leading companies which act as the industry players with IAT to deal in the buying and selling of crops, and subsequently establish contract farming agreements.
“An understanding will be achieved with leading companies and entrepreneurs that would help achieve relevant market pricing which is beneficial to both parties based on the advice of the State Agriculture Department,” he said in a statement today.
Hasni said the leading companies will be responsible for seeking markets both locally or for export, while entrepreneurs would be responsible for ensuring the products are produced with the required quantity and quality, and safe to consume.
Under the programme, each leading company will receive a maximum incentive of RM50,000 while each entrepreneur will receive a maximum incentive of RM20,000, he said, adding that the incentives given would be in the form of equipment, machinery, fixtures or infrastructure that is needed.
He added that the programme is aimed at improving productivity with the construction of a farm produce collection centre to ensure that the marketing process runs smoothly, thus solving marketing issues and the dumping of agriculture products, which is constantly faced by entrepreneurs, especially in getting fair market price.
According to him, this is also part of efforts to bring entrepreneurs out of the B40 (Bottom 40) group. In fact, he said leading companies would be getting an adequate supply of quality agriculture products that would eventually increase the country’s subsistence rate.
The Memorandum of Understanding today was signed by the State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Datuk Samsolbari Jamali and Johor State Agriculture director Alang Mad Daud Dawan, six leading companies and 20 entrepreneurs for phase one.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Hasni, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and State Secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani. — Bernama