KUALA LUMPUR: The value of the agro food sector grew by 6.9% last year compared with 1.7% in 2005, which is not far from the 7.6% average target set in the Ninth Malaysia Plan, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Food planting production increased by 4.6% from 4.01 million metric tonnes in 2005 to 4.17 million metric tonnes last year, he said quoting the ministry’s 2006 annual report.
The report also said the livestock industry grew from 4.7% in 2005 to 5.2% last year, fish production rose by 7.1% from 1.4 million metric tonnes in 2005 to 1.5 million metric tonnes last year and rice production reached more than one million metric tonnes last year, meeting 73.11% of the country’s need.
On the issue of the lack of growth in the agriculture sector brought up in Parliament, Muhyiddin said results would be seen next year and in 2009 because the investments rolled out for the Ninth Malaysia Plan would bear fruit by then.
“There are many things that still have to be sorted out at the micro level but overall, there are improvements,” he said during the launch of the annual report.
Muhyiddin also said that the future of the dairy industry was discussed in a closed-door meeting recently with advisors of the national agriculture development panel.
The industry has been on the decline and the ministry has adopted a policy to increase the production of milk and milk products from 45 million litres to 75 million litres per year, he said.
Muhyiddin also said fruit exports decreased by almost RM30mil last year due to air transportation issues.
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