Farming methods to be updated

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will be focusing on modernisation and smart farming methods as it aims to transform the country’s agrofood sector in the next decade, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said the new National Agrofood Policy 2021-2030 (DAN 2.0) will continue the momentum and success of its predecessor launched in 2011.

He said since the launch of the policy, the contribution of the agrofood sector to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has seen an average annual growth of 6.8% up to 2020.

“This is an almost 100% increase compared with the GDP growth in 2010. Total food exports also increased at an average annual growth rate of 6.4%, from RM18.1bil to RM33.7bil (during the same period).

“Indeed, today’s agrofood sector provides an added value and has the potential to increase the income of participants in the supply chain.

“DAN 2.0 aims to continue the agrofood sector development agenda, with a focus on efforts to improve the country’s food security.

“These efforts will be successful through modernisation and smart agriculture as well as by strengthening the agrofood value chain.

“The policy will also prioritise efforts to increase productivity as well as improve the income and quality of life of producers,” the Prime Minister said in a recorded speech at the launch of DAN 2.0.

Ismail Sabri said the focus on modernisation and smart agriculture would be supported by financing funds, investment incentives, and manpower to increase the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) technologies.

“Research and development, as well as commercialisation and innovation, will be the pulse of the development of the agrofood sector,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said the implementation period of DAN 2.0, which is until 2030, was in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

He added that smart agriculture was also one of the Key Economic Growth Activities outlined in the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

Through DAN 2.0’s framework and action plan, Ismail Sabri said the country was targeting an average annual growth of the agrofood sector to be at 4.5% during the 12th Malaysia Plan period.

Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the ministry is confident of Malaysia’s agrofood sector’s ability to grow further.

“Throughout the pandemic, many sectors suffered a downturn, but the agrofood sector was the only one that showed positive growth.

“With such a comprehensive plan, and with close monitoring by the ministry, the agrofood sector will continue to expand,” he said after the launch event.

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