SERDANG: A total of RM50mil has been allocated to support individuals who want to start home-based food businesses, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister said the allocation also applied to those purchasing machines for food businesses and motorcycles for those intending to perform food delivery jobs through ehailing platforms.
“This amount will be allocated through Agrobank under the Pemulih NewBiz Financing Fund, whereby it offers funding up to RM5,000 for the first stage and RM10,000 for the second stage.
“Applicants will also be given a moratorium for the first six months and charged a 3% profit rate for the seventh month, with a maximum financing period of 60 months or five years,” he said at the launch of the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Exhibition (Maha) 2022 yesterday.
He said the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry (Mafi) would also be introducing a Takaful Insurance Agrofood Scheme covering the entirety of the sector.
“This scheme is aimed at minimising the financial damage incurred on those in the agricultural sector, especially during natural disasters such as floods or droughts.
“Padi farmers will also receive compensation which is equivalent to their losses, in cases of instances that hinder the national production of padi,” he added.
He said the pilot run would involve the padi and rice sectors, which was set to benefit up to 189,500 farmers, before being expanded to other sectors.
Ismail Sabri also noted how intervention measures taken by the government towards ensuring food security had paid off, with chicken prices now lower than the ceiling price of RM9.40 per kg.
This includes abolishing the approved permit, halting chicken exports and creating buffer stock for chicken and fish.
“These measures also saw the government providing subsidies amounting to RM1.1bil to chicken breeders to ease their burden alongside ensuring a sufficient supply of chicken and eggs and providing guaranteed price stability,” he said.
He said the government was also committed to dealing with manipulation by middlemen and cartels in the agriculture sector, which would cause inflation alongside the price increase of goods.
The proposed decision issued by the Malaysia Competition Commission on Friday against five feed millers for infringing Section 4 of the Competition Act 2010 served as a warning against cartels that try to manipulate prices and the market, said the Prime Minister.
Maha 2022 is now held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (Maeps) here until Aug 14.