KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) is actively implementing various strategies to reduce the country’s dependency on food imports.
Deputy secretary-general (Development), Datuk Badrul Hisham Mohd said the measures include setting up a grain corn cultivation industry.
Aware of the country’s dependency on imported grain corn, Badrul said the cooperation of all parties to obtain the land needed to increase grain corn production is crucial.
“Efforts to create a grain corn cultivation industry began seven years ago, and we are now in the midst of stabilising this industry as an alternate food source for livestock versus bran.
“It would take 15 years to grow this industry, so by 2032 or 2033, we will be ready to begin large-scale grain corn cultivation in the country,” he said on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme yesterday.
Grain corn is vital to Malaysia’s livestock industry in order to control the rising prices of chicken and eggs, where chicken farming is 65 per cent to 70 per cent-dependent on grain corn as animal feed.
Under the Madani Economy announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday, the government would focus on improving the country’s Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) and strengthening food security.
These efforts include increasing cultivation areas while optimising existing farmland.
To support the local food industry, Anwar, who is also the Minister of Finance, announced that a total of RM200 million has been allocated to provide financing facilities under Agrobank, especially for the application of modern agricultural technology.
The government had also announced a commitment to improving the irrigation infrastructure in the Muda Agricultural Development Authority areas in Kedah and Perlis to increase the productivity of rice production to five seasons within two years, involving infrastructure worth RM3 billion. — Bernama