Addressing the dependency on food imports

IMG_2996-1_0The value of food imports for Sarawak has increased from RM4.22 billion in 2015 to RM4.44 billion in 2016, with 76 per cent or RM3.4 billion consisting of five main food items, namely various edible goods and prepared food; cereal; fruits and vegetables; fish, crustacean and molluscs; and animal feed.

At present the State is only able to achieve self-sufficiency levels for pork, and chicken meat and eggs.

Meanwhile, self-sufficiency levels for rice is at 53 per cent while for beef, goat meat and buffalo meat the figure is at 10 per cent.

Assistant Minister of Agriculture, YB Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Haji Ismail stated this in response to a question posed by Serembu assemblyman YB Miro Simuh during the 4th day of the 1st Meeting of the 2nd Term of the 18th State Legislative Assembly on 16th May, 2017.

Although these numbers do not bode well for the state government’s current efforts in becoming a net food exporter, YB Dr Haji Abdul Rahman assured that the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development will develop new approaches and strategies to decrease dependency on food imports.

The ministry will also continue to strengthen existing programmes, including improving agro-food programmes such as the Rice Industry Programme, Fruit and Vegetable Industry Programme, Livestock Development Programme and Aquaculture Development Programme.

Apart from that, the number of permanent food production parks (TKPM) is set to be increased and agro-food products produced on a larger scale through the Food Basket initiative.

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