JASIN: The targeted incentive relief, introduced in the agriculture and food industry sectors, is one of the areas to be strengthened in order to achieve the 2021 goal to significantly increase food production.
Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) Deputy Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah (pix) said the effort is aimed at guaranteeing food security so that the country could cease to be dependent on imports and is capable of producing its own products.
He said the ministry is serious in ensuring that the industry would continue to grow through the 2021 Budget allocation for farmers, planters and fishermen, especially in the commodity sector involving padi and agriculture produce.
“Among them, the government has provided the Padi Price Scheme of RM570 million, Fertilizer Subsidy Scheme and Padi Production Incentive (RM960 million) and Hill Padi Fertiliser Subsidy (RM40 million)
“Besides that the government is focusing on agriculture products through the implementation of programmes organised by departments and agencies such as the Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP), Agriculture Department, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) and so forth,” he said in his speech at the launch of the MR 303-variety padi harvesting programme at Kampung Tedong, here, today.
Ahmad said the government has also provided an allocation of RM80 million for Agro-Food Agriculture Disaster Fund, expected to largely benefit those affected by natural disasters such as farmers, padi planters, breeders and fishermen.
He said the distribution would be done after the ministry’s assessment, by focusing on badly affected groups that had experienced losses, such as due to floods during the monsoon season.
Meanwhile Ahmad said, based on MR 303 padi harvests in the area, it was proven that Melaka has the potential to become a padi growing state, after several areas were identified to be suitable for cultivation of this type of padi variety.
“The MR 303 padi variety has several advantages, including generating up to 10 tonnes per hectare and as such, we have recommended that the farmers employ optimal land use for this padi variety,” he said. -Bernama