MPN urges solution to reduce reliance on livestock feed imports

There is an urgent need to empower the livestock feed industry for Malaysia to achieve a level of ‘self-sufficiency’, says Muhyiddin

by ANIS HAZIM / pic by BLOOMBERG

THE National Recovery Council (MPN) has recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) find initiatives that can reduce the country’s livestock feed imports comprehensively.

MPN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said there is an urgent need to empower the livestock feed industry for Malaysia to achieve a level of “self-sufficiency” and manage the cost of livestock feed without any external factors.

“The 100% of dependency (in importing livestock feed) is an imprecise policy. To avoid this, there needs to be a bolder and more assertive effort so that Malaysia can produce, even if it is not that much, but there is a supply within the country,” Muhyiddin told reporters after the MPN meeting on Tuesday.

He noted that Malaysia was affected by the rise in the food prices such as chicken because Malaysia relies 100% on imports of chicken livestock feed which the prices have doubled due to the global supply chain crisis.

“I think at the government level and the Cabinet-level have discussed this. But the council today views that it might be appropriate for the government to examine the import policy of livestock feeds,” he said.

The former prime minister also said the policy requires involvement with government-linked companies that have palm oil fields that can be used as corn crops.

Currently, the supply of eight main commodities in Malaysia is stable as Malaysia climbed nine spots to rank 39 on the Global Food Security Index in 2021.

According to Muhyiddin, MAFI has conducted an intervention that is oriented toward consumers, producers and traders, to strengthen national food supply security.

“Among the short-term interventions taken were establishing chicken stocks, review of import procedures of the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Service and revision of the agricultural electric tariff,” he added.