Much-needed relief aid

KOTA BARU: A total of RM50mil from the Agricultural Disaster Fund has been allocated to compensate up to 50% of the losses incurred by farmers, breeders and fishermen affected by the floods, says Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

Based on the initial reports received, the agro-food sector in Kelantan had incurred an estimated total loss of over RM20mil involving 1,875 individuals, he said.

“The severely affected areas include Tumpat, Kota Baru, Pasir Mas, Bachok, Tanah Merah, Pasir Puteh, Machang, Jeli, Kuala Krai and Gua Musang,” he told reporters after the Kelantan Sentuhan Agro Madan programme here yesterday that was also attended by Agrobank president and chief executive officer Datuk Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah Raja Hussin.

Mohamad presented food baskets to over 200 farmers, breeders and fishermen who were affected by the recent floods, Bernama reported.

Elaborating, he said the ministry’s initiatives are crucial in helping flood-affected target groups to recover, contributing to the growth of the country’s agriculture and agri-food sector.

He said food security is not solely under the responsibility of the ministry but involves the collective effort of all parties in line with the concept “Food Security Is a Shared Responsibility”.

“To strengthen food security further, a total of RM400mil has been allocated in Budget 2024 to implement various initiatives with a focus on increasing domestic production and self-sufficiency in key food commodities.

“Of this amount, RM150mil was allocated for collaboration with state governments to optimise land use for improving crop and livestock yields.

“One of the ministry’s long-term goals is to enhance irrigation and drainage infrastructure in non-padi cultivation areas, aiming to enable crops to be cultivated twice a year.”

He added that cooperation and support from state governments are crucial for this initiative.

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