Food security, agriculture to be main points in Budget 2021, says Finance Minister

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz (third right) looking at freshwater fish breeding techniques during his working visit to a breeding centre in Bukit Batu, Kulai, Johor.

KULAI: The food security initiative and the agricultural sector will be some of the main points that Budget 2022 will focus on, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He added that this is in line with the government’s socio-economic recovery plan, growth and restructuring in the short, medium and long term.

Zafrul also said that both of these sectors will lay the foundation in reducing the country’s dependency on imported food in the long run.

“Food security is one of the elements that the government has always emphasised in our economic stimulus packages and Budget 2021,” he said.

“I believed that with strong cooperation between the state and federal government, we could come out with large scale agriculture projects that give high impact (on the economy),” added Zafrul.

He said this when met by reporters after visiting the freshwater fish breeding centre in Bukit Batu, here on Saturday (Sept 18).

The visit is part of his two-day working visit to Johor set for Saturday and Sunday (Sept 19).

Tengku Zafrul added that a total of RM3.15bil has been channelled to the agricultural sector through the stimulus package and Budget 2021.

“From that, a total of RM1.75bil has been given to farmers, breeders, and fishermen for projects that are related to agriculture,” he said

“The projects have been implemented during the movement control order (MCO) including logistics, and the micro-credit assistance under Agrobank and projects under the state government,” added Tengku Zafrul.

Tengku Zafrul also said that Johor is also the state that has contributed largely to the agricultural sector and agro-food sector.

“This is in line with the government aim in turning Johor into the ‘Malaysia’s Food Basket’ and develop a competitive agro-food industry.

“We hope that Johor would be able to continue producing higher volumes of quality and sustainable food products,” he said, adding that the initiative will be paired with financial incentives, grants and other government-led programmes under the state and the federal government.

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