Govt drafting action plan to ensure food security, says minister


PETALING JAYA: A national food security action plan is being drafted to help overcome challenges and problems that could threaten the country’s ability to keep its people fed.

The Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry said the drafting process will include views from various stakeholders including government ministries, agencies, academia, the private sector and NGOs.

In his keynote address at the National Food Security 2021 webinar, minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (pic) said the plan will cover five specific areas in food production such as the use of technology, raising food production efficiency, raising productivity, and to do it in an economic and sustainable manner.

The plan also aims to strengthen research in food security to increase agricultural yield and enhance data availability on food security to identify and address problems in any particular location.

“By doing so, we can increase food production capacity domestically and also monitor food security levels in certain areas, ” Kiandee said.

The plan also aspires to extend strategic collaborations between government ministries, state government and the private sector and reinforce management across departments and agencies to share the responsibility of safeguarding food security and narrow any gaps in the national food system.

Kiandee’s address was delivered by his deputy Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah at the webinar on Thursday (May 27).

In his address, Kiandee said among the challenges in maintaining the country’s food security is ensuring that safe food is affordably available to the masses and raising domestic food production.

“As we continue to safeguard our food security, we certainly need to have a variety of imports and more collaborations in the area of food diplomacy particularly for items that we cannot produce ourselves.

“The use of modern technology will be important in maximising productivity and lessening our dependence on food imports and foreign labour as we move to create a more stable food system, ” he said.

He added that a “whole of society” approach must also be intensified to encourage greater collaboration between the government, NGOs and the private sector in optimising resources so as to avoid food wastage and loss.

Kiandee said such collaborations would also protect the country’s food security against other factors such as climate change that could influence the availability of resources for food production.

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