Promote agriculture to ensure national food security – Awang Tengah

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KUCHING, Dec 5: An urgent need to increase food production to ensure food remains affordable to all levels of society.

Thus, promoting agriculture is vital to preserve our national food security and not relying on imports to meet domestic consumption.

Deputy Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the country has yet to become self-sufficient in food production, having an annual food import bill that stands at about RM50 billion.

As such, the National Agro-Food Policy 2.0 puts the agriculture sector and food source production as the main agendas to ensure food security through the adoption of modern technologies and digitisation, mechanisation and autonmation into the agrofood sector in the fourth industrial revolution (IR4.0) era.

“Various short term and long term solutions are being done by the government to assist the recovery of agriculture front liners throughout this challenging time.

“Cooperatives would also need to be more active in finding access to new markets and at the same time advance the agriculture economy,” said Tengah who text speech was read by Deputy Minister for Food Industry, Commodities and Regional Development Sarawak, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail when officiating the Agricultural Cooperative Opportunities Chain Transformation seminar here recently.

Meanwhile, Tengah pointed out that 3,329 cooperatives registered across the country are involved in agriculture-related businesses to improve food security by increasing food productivity, in return generate a high income for agricultural entrepreneurs.

He added, the cooperatives sector is the third most important sector after the private and public sectors, with assets worth RM140 billion.

“Having a chain of 14,834 as well as more than seven million members, the sector is the best platform for holistic community development.

And assisting on achieving the government’s goal of improving the peoples’ socio-economy inclusively. – TVS

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