Malaysia: Agricultural groups demand tabling of white paper

  • THE future of Malaysia’s agricultural sector remains bleak if the government refuses to budge from outdated ways and methods that have failed, said agricultural groups.
  • A lose grouping of activists have urged the government to come up with a report card on the state of the agricultural sector to identify weaknesses, instead of just continuing with old methods and projects which are not fruitful.
  • The group’s spokesman Jes Izman Izaidin urged Putrajaya to table a white paper on the agricultural sector to explain and solve the current agriculture crisis.
  • He was referring to the millions shelled out by former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration on various programmes, including the failed National Feedlot Corporation (NFC).
  • Industry coalition Paddy Rescue chairman Fitri Amir Muhammad said the white paper should include a look into the supply chain of the padi and rice industry.
  • Fitri said sellers are benefiting from the subsidies meant for farmers, an area which warrants immediate attention by the government.
  • Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin recently said modern agriculture is a booming sector, into which Malaysians should tap.
  • Jes and his group have forwarded a proposal to Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based industry on revolutionising the agricultural sector in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).
  • They proposed the setting up of a database to monitor the supply chain of agricultural products, from the farm to the market. Monitoring the supply chain flow would allow the government to control prices and avoid price manipulation by middlemen, he said.

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