Govt to boost domestic food production, reduce reliance on imports  


THE government will implement both short- and long-term initiatives to enhance the country’s food security.

Agriculture and Food Security Deputy Minister Chan Foong Hin said the focus lies in boosting domestic production of essential commodities to reduce reliance on imports.

“We aim to achieve a 50% self-sufficiency ratio (SSR) for beef cattle by 2030 through the expansion of feedlot farming.

“The ministry plans to strengthen private quarantine centres to accommodate additional live cattle imports and develop highly capable industry players. 

“Moreover, a structured breeding programme is being implemented to enhance the genetics of locally-adapted dairy breeds,” he said in Dewan Rakyat today in response to Parit Sulong MP Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad’s question.

He added that long-term plans involve improving and maintaining infrastructure and logistics in the feedlot livestock industry.

To address the dependency on imported animal feeds, the ministry plans to produce 600,000 metric tonnes (MT) of grain corn, resulting in an import reduction by 30% by 2032.

Chan emphasised the significance of the SSR in measuring a country’s ability to fulfil domestic needs through local production.

“The Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (KPKM) closely monitors the supply status of eight main food commodities, namely rice, chicken meat, chicken eggs, beef, fresh milk, vegetables, fruits and fish,” he said.

The SSR rates for 2021 are as follow:

  • Rice: 65%
  • Chicken meat: 99.9%
  • Eggs: 114.4%
  • Beef/Buffalo: 18.9%
  • Fresh milk: 56.7%
  • Vegetables: 46.7%
  • Fruits: 77.4%
  • Fish: 91.7%

Additionally, Chan said the implementation of the Large-Scale Smart Paddy Programme (Smart SBB) seeks to double the average rice yield per ha from 3.5MT to 7MT during the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“This will be accomplished through methods such as contract farming and rental. KPKM aims to reduce dependence on imported agricultural inputs that impact production costs and food prices by strengthening the domestic agricultural industry,” he said.