MAFI to balance imported food with local production

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) will continue to balance between imported food supply and national production, to ensure that all major commodities are sufficient to meet the needs of the people in the country.

MAFI deputy secretary-general (Development) Datuk Badrul Hisham Mohd, said that based on continuous monitoring, it was found that there were no significant changes recorded in food supply.

“Even though there are various disruptions (from abroad), Malaysia has the advantage of both internal and imported resources. So, we will try to balance the supply according to the needs of the people.

“Lately, we face several factors that interfered with supply or production, for example, the price hike of imported fertilisers, pesticides and others.” he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara Bahas.

The programme, which discussed the topic ‘National Food Security: Action Plan and Enforcement’ also featured the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Enforcement director Azman Adam as the other invited panelist.

Badrul Hisham said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also changed the world’s business landscape, thus disrupting the main sources of the country’s food supply.

He added that although some of the factors have impacted the food industry and the country’s economy, MAFI remains steadfast in its stance that there is no major disruption in terms of food supply, and that the matter had been explained to the government.

“….There are reports by the media saying that there are shortages of certain commodities in the market such as chicken. Based on our monitoring, there is no significant shortage, our pattern (food supply) is still the same.

“But, one or two farms have made adjustments to production due to some technical issues which are forced them to do so. They have already notified the Department of Veterinary Services and KPDNHEP,” he added.

Badrul said the ministry was prepared with certain measures to ensure that the disruption would not bring about a big impact on the people.

Meanwhile, Azman said to ensure food supply is always sufficient, KPDNHEP will obtain the status of the daily food supply by taking data from wholesalers and factories nationwide.

“But, sometimes there are interruptions or contingency factors, for example, imported goods which did not arrive from abroad on time, thus affecting supply.

“So, our officers will investigate the matter and look into the supply directly to ensure a certain area continues to enjoy the item,” he said. – Bernama

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