Salahuddin Ayub says reforms to bureaucracy and more efficient technology will introduced to boost the productivity of local farmers.
THE government will focus on increasing food productivity and security, as well as minimising bureaucracy over the next three years, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub.
He said the government was committed to mobilise appropriate initiatives in ensuring adequate food supply in the country, as well as to ensure the national food safety index met United Nations (UN) standards.
“My focus, in terms of implementation, is to ensure that the rice sector can be revived drastically towards having a more efficient local supply, and to ensure the local meat production reaches 30% of needs.
“The government will improve the technology in the rice industry. We will also make a reform of all the bureaucracy issues related to rice supply, including to think of ways to increase the budget and subsidy for padi planters and farmers,” he said in an interview with Bernama yesterday.
Salahuddin said to ensure food security was at a satisfactory level, the country's food production had to be intensified so that the farmers and fishermen could improve their livelihood.
“If national production is efficient, this will reduce the risks in food security as the government is told that food stocks in Malaysia can only last for a maximum of three months if rice imports come to a halt or in case of a disaster or war.
“Compared to Thailand, their food supply can last up to eight months, while China is one year. This is our concern because the ministry is responsible in ensuring that food supplies are enough for the people regardless of any situation,” he said.
Salahuddin said in efforts by the government to expand the national output, the import of food should also be reduced.