KUALA LUMPUR: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry will undertake a RM1bil cash crop project in collaboration with the Economic Affairs Ministry to help restore Felda’s financial health within five years.
Its minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said the decision was made during the National Physical Planning Council meeting on Thursday with Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who tabled the new approach.
“To restore Felda’s financial position, perhaps a quarter of the RM1bil will be used to start the project. The two ministries must cooperate in this effort.
“The ministry has the expertise through agencies such as Mardi the (Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute) and Fama (Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority), which will take on the role of helping Felda and making the cash crop concept a success,” he told reporters after a town hall with the ministry’s customers here yesterday.
Describing the project as a big challenge, Salahuddin said the secretaries-general of both ministries would start the discussions, adding that further measures would be taken at the ministerial level to help Felda increase its income.
On April 10, Azmin tabled the Felda White Paper themed ‘Towards Felda’s Sustainability’ in Parliament, which explained the issues faced by Felda and its restoration plan to safeguard the interests of its settlers.
Salahuddin, who earlier attended a meet-the-customers programme organised by Fama, said he received varied feedback from local entrepreneurs on helping them to expand their businesses.
Fama, he said, needed to improve the online business platform, www.agrobazaar.com.my as “online sales was the trend now and had great potential to help local entrepreneurs market their products at a higher level”. — Bernama