By Sheeda Fathil
SABAK BERNAM, March 20 — The Selangor government will look into other ways how to help the public in facing the challenges caused by rising costs of living.
State executive councillor for agricultural modernisation and agro-based industry Izham Hashim said that the new mechanism is to replace the Jelajah Ensan Rakyat (JER) programme that is run by the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation (PKPS), which is scheduled to end this Aidilfitri.
“The JER intervention programme cannot go for much longer, but subsidies must be given in some cases or it will be hard (for the people).
“Subsidies can be used as a short-term solution but in the long run, there should other sustainable options, such as how to lower the price of chicken.
“I have often informed the minister (agriculture and food security) that we need to figure out how to lower the prices of chicken feed so that the price of chicken will also go down,” he said when met after launching the Jelajah Kita Selangor Penyayang programme for the Sabak Bernam district in Bagan Terap, Sungai Besar, here yesterday.
He said that in addition to PKPS, the state committee plans to work with the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) and the Koperasi Warga Hijrah Selangor Bhd (Kohijrah) to offer food packages similar to Menu Rahmah.
“We will review how to package it with Menu Rahmah and perhaps come up with a suitable brand and package that is sustainable and can help the people,” he said.
From September to December of last year, two million people in Selangor had benefitted from the state’s affordable sales programme.
Due to overwhelming response, the initiative was expanded to 1,200 locations from January 16 until this coming May.
JER offers fresh goods at affordable prices, including whole chickens sold at RM10 per piece, fresh meat at RM10 per pack, grade B eggs at RM10 per pack, mackerel fish at RM6 per pack, five-kilogramme cooking oil at RM25 and rice at RM10.
Meanwhile, Izham said that the winner of the third edition of Ikon Agro Selangor 2022 will be announced after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival.
He said a total of three winners will be announced with each bringing home cash prizes of RM10,000.
“We were going to announce the winners at the Selangor Agro Fest 2023 in March, but some of the contestants were still working on their short videos, so we had to postpone it.
“We will evaluate these videos and choose the winners based on how well they meet the criteria. I would like to wish them the best of luck and hope they do their best,” he said.
A total of 10 agroentreprenuers our of 23 partiticants were shortlisted to take part in the this edition of the Agro Selangor 2022.
The five categories contested are namely animal husbandry, aquaculture, crops, agro-based industry and agro-tourism, which offers a cash prize of RM10,000 and agricultural equipment.
The competition aims to make Selangor a food distribution hub and encourage more people to be involved in the agricultural sector.