IPOH: The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, today advised the government to immediately devise strategic measures to address the rising cost of foodstuffs, saying it is imposing a burden on people’s lives.
These measures must give priority to the crucial role and critical needs of the agricultural sector, he said.
“The rising cost of foodstuffs is imposing a burden on people’s lives. The people’s anxiety over the rising cost of foodstuffs should be read accurately and interpreted as a warning for the government to quickly draft strategic measures,” he said.
The sultan was delivering the royal address when opening the first meeting of the second session of the 14th Perak Legislative Assembly at Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan. Also present was the Raja Permaisuri Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim.
Sultan Nazrin said of the 15 million workers in Malaysia, only 1.8 million were in the agriculture sector and this was very worrying for a nation with a 32-million population which has been projected to increase to 36 million by 2030.
“The 1.8 million, most of whom are old, is too small a number to be responsible for producing food for 32 million people, especially if the methods of production are not modernised to increase productivity.
“The situation becomes more chronic when the figures show there is food wastage of almost 17,000 tonnes each day…a quantity which can provide three meals a day to 12 million people,” he said.
He said, based on this situation, food security poses a big challenge to any government.
Sultan Nasrin said the success of the Pulau Tiga Collecting Farming Land Scheme (RTB) in Kampung Gajah, Pasir Salak which recorded the highest production of palm oil in Peninsular Malaysia should be made an example for increasing estate productivity.– Bernama