SERDANG: The Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry (MAFI) through the Fisheries Department will partner three public universities in efforts to boost the productivity of the national fisheries sector.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee(pix) said Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) dan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) will share scientific data and research information.

“We hope the partnership will boost the national fisheries sector and develop fishermen communities and lift their social and economic levels.

“In the current era, sharing data and research will speed up industry development,” he said at the signing of the partnership’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the 2022 Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro-Tourism (MAHA) exhibition site here today.

The MOU with UUM is related to research partnerships focus on academic development, negotiation and publishing especially relating to entrepreneurship and economic development for fishermen while UKM involves research partnerships for the aim of economic development through creative tourism, product commercialisation and creative talent development, espcially among youth.

The MOU with UM meanwhile is related to research partnerships involving marine research programmes, marine capacity development, fishery sciences and ecology, biodiversity, oceanography, as well as the sharing and publishing of joint information.

Ronald said the partnerships are an important step in supporting the national food security agenda, especially in fulfilling the demand of fish that is expected to exceed 2.55 million tons come 2030.

He added that the national fisheries industry was facing various challenges that impacted fish supply, including increase production costs, fish diseases and uncertain climate changes.

Meanwhile UKM deputy vice-chancellor (research and innovation) Datuk Dr Wan Kamal Mujan said partnerships like the ones signed today were needed as the country is facing food supply issues currently.

“We hope the partnerships will result in additions to Malaysians food diet and strengthen the ecosystem of our fisheries sector,” he said.-Bernama