The Malaysian government will be launching a National Agrofood Policy 2021-2030 (NAP 2.0) to transform the agrofood industry into a sustainable, competitive and high-technology sector and to boost economic growth. NAP 2.0 is a precedent to the National Agrofood Policy 2011-2020 (NAP) implemented by the past administrations.
NAP 2.0 is made up of key strategies that focus on a competitive and innovative agrofood sector, people’s well-being, and a paradigm shift toward a sustainable food system as a climate change adaptation strategy. Paddy and rice, fruits and vegetables, animals, and fisheries are among the specific target sectors. Key measures are summarized as below:
- In keeping with the fourth industrial revolution (IR4.0) period, NAP 2.0 will introduce modern technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as digitization, mechanization, and automation technologies, into the agrofood industry. From the start of production through post-harvest, wholesale, retail, and distribution, these technologies are expected to improve efficiency and productivity in agrofood sector.
- NAP 2.0 will focus on local food production and livestock inputs, in tandem with the National Food Security Policy Action Plan 2021-2025. The government would also establish the National Ruminant Board in phases by 2022.
- The Large-Scale Smart Padi Field (Smart SBB) Project will be continued to increase farmers’ income by eliminating or reducing the role of middlemen, as well as improving paddy production in the country. Smart SBB which was introduced earlier, had enabled the country to achieve self-sufficiency level (SSL) target of rice production to 75%.
- The Kebuniti Agriculture Project, an urban farming initiative aimed at promoting self-sufficiency and providing an additional source of income, will be maintained with a focus on the B40 group. This will assist the target group in enhancing economic activities in order to ensure the country’s food supply remains stable and to create revenue possibilities for farmers, breeders, and fishers.
During the previous administration led by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, MYR 640 million (USD 154 million) was granted to Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (MAFI). MYR 4.79 million (USD 1.15 million) was also provided to MAFI in the 2021 Budget to help the agricultural and food industries, as well as MYR 1.53 billion (USD 358 million) in paddy subsidies and incentives. One of the high-impact programs implemented by MAFI was the Farmers Organisation Authority movement, which would be replicated through the Organic Agriculture Project and the E-Satellite Farm Project, covering 1,700 farmers.
(Sources: New Straits Times; The Edge Markets; The Sun Daily)