Selangor Journal
Photo for illustration purposes only. — Picture by PEXELS

Govt to consider five seasons in two years padi cultivation initiative — PMO

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — The government will consider the five seasons in two years padi cultivation initiative as one of the efforts to improve the country’s agro-food ecosystem.

The matter was decided in the Cabinet Committee on the National Food Security Policy (JKSMN) meeting No 1/2023 chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday.

The meeting also considered the efforts by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) to ensure the availability of food supply and the proposal to establish a closed-house breeding system for productive and safe farm management.

“A total of three papers were examined to improve the country’s agro-food ecosystem, especially in achieving the targeted level of food security,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement today.

The JKSMN meeting, which is responsible for formulating a more holistic and sustainable food security policy and strategy, was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister cum the Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, as well as related Cabinet ministers and senior government officials.

The committee also focuses on strengthening the country’s food security, taking into account factors that affect the agriculture sector, such as climate change, resource constraints, geopolitical conflicts, food access, income gaps and dietary practices.

“Socioeconomic factors such as population income, logistics costs and food prices that affect access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food need to be given special attention in planning steps to deal with the uncertainty of food security,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the government, through the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (MAFS), is working to implement various initiatives to reduce the trade deficit by strengthening research and development activities for seed varieties planted in the country.

MAFS also strives to improve the export performance of agricultural-based downstream products and boost domestic food production activities.

“In addition, the implementation of the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme (SHMMP) from April 15 to April 30, and the Menu Rahmah initiative has been able to help reduce the impact of price increases in April 2023,” said the statement.

According to the statement, Malaysia is ranked 41st among 113 countries based on the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2022, down seven spots from 2021, thus illustrating the government’s challenges and priorities to implement more effective improvement measures to increase food security.

However, the government will continue to ensure that proactive measures are always emphasised in analysing and identifying new initiatives and designing more comprehensive, relevant and strategic interventions to guarantee the sustainability of agro-food input supply and national food production activities.

— Bernama

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