Malaysia seeks strategic ties for food production — Najib

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SERDANG: Malaysia is looking into forming strategic alliances with other countries for food production, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

NEW PADI VARIETIES: Najib shows the two new padi varieties - MR253 and MR263 - in conjunction with the opening of the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA) 2010 international exposition at the Malaysian Agro- Exposition Park. Also present is director of Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute Datuk Dr Shukur Abdul Rahman (right). — Bernama photo

He said under such an arrangement, Malaysia would venture into developing food production hubs in the partner countries.

“This will be more cost effective than increasing food production acreage in Malaysia,” he told the media after simultaneously launching the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA)international exposition and National Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen’s Day 2010 at the Malaysian Agro- Exposition Park here yesterday.

“This is one of the initiatives that can be taken to ensure food security for Malaysia.

“We have taken various steps towards this purpose and will continue to take steps to raise food production for the country,” he said.

However, he said there was no pressing need toincrease acreage for food production for now and that what was more important was to increase agricultural yields through use of new seeds, technology and good infrastructure.

The prime minister was confident that the measures being taken would help avert a food crisis like high market prices or shortages, down the road.

Following the world food crisis in 2008, Malaysia undertook several measures under its Food Supply Guarantee Policy to raise food production in the country.

Najib also said natural disasters could impact food production.

“With climate change becoming a global phenomenon now, not a single country will be spared from its effects.

“What is important is how countries come together to tackle this climate change problem,” he said.

He said the nation’s agriculture sector continued to grow and contributed RM10.1 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 2.4 per cent over the corresponding period last year.

Of the figure, the agrofood sector contributed RM4.7 billion or 46.5 per cent while the planting, breeding and fisheries subsectors grew by 9.5 per cent 13.9 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively. — Bernama