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Govt mulls five padi planting seasons every two years

Publish date: Sat, 10 Jun 2023, 06:23 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will consider the five padi planting seasons every two years padi 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 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 food supply and the proposal to establish a closed cultivation 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 cabinet committee meeting, which is responsible for formulating a more holistic and sustainable food security policy and strategy, was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, and other ministers and senior 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 in food security,"  the statement read.

The statement said the government, through the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, is working to reduce the trade deficit by strengthening research and development of seed varieties planted in the country.

The ministry also strived to improve the export performance of agricultural-based downstream products and boost domestic food production.

"In addition, the implementation of the Festive Season Maximum Price Control Scheme from April 15 to 30 and the Menu Rahmah initiative has reduced the impact of price increases in April 2023," said the statement.

 The government said Malaysia was ranked 41st among 113 countries in the Global Food Security Index 2022, down seven spots from 2021 -  illustrating the government's challenges and priorities to implement more effective measures to increase food security.

However, the government will continue to ensure that proactive measures are 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. - BERNAMA

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