KUALA LUMPUR: The government has agreed to abolish the Approved Permit (AP) to import basic food substances from abroad with immediate effect.
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, the decision was made at the Cabinet Ministers’ Meeting this morning (Wednesday) and this will enable all parties to import the basic food substances without monopoly from certain groups or cartel that will manipulate the prices.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) will soon announce in details about this matter,” Ismail said in his speech at the dinner held in Dewan Merdeka Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in conjunction with the National Farmers Association (NAFAS) 48th Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2021 that will be held Thursday evening.
According to the Prime Minister, when he was the MAFI Minister, in 2014, he declared “Jihad to fight against the middlemen” as these people had squeezed the farmers’ and fishermen’s sweat and manipulated the prices in the market.
Ismail emphasized that the “Jihad” should be continued by NAFAS through the empowering of supply chain strategy such as the formation of Padi Purchasing Centre, Fruits Collecting Centre and the additions of farmers’ markets and fishermen’s markets.
Ismail also mentioned that the government via MAFI has approved the allocation of RM4.47 million from the Agriculture Disaster Fund to help 29 farmers’ associations and 483 members affected by the disaster this year.
He said, the Provision for the Redevelopment of Agro food Project (PPSPA) will be channelled through the Board of Farmers’ Associations in seven states namely Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.
“After discussing with the Minister of Finance, aids amounting RM200 for three months will be paid to the padi planters during the harvest period for two seasons. This allocation has been included in the 2023 Budget that will be announced later,” Ismail said.
Meanwhile, Ismail said, the government has instructed MAFI to provide the short and long term plan to avoid the food crisis from happening.
“The Ministry has also been requested to take immediate actions relating to the rise in the cost of living in the country. In this matter the government has urged NAFAS and Farmers Association Board (LPP) to implement the changes and the paradigm shift to enable the country to have sufficient food supply chain.
“NAFAS should give new breadth to the food pertaining to agriculture via the instillation of high technology and digitalisation to increase the agricultural production and hence reduced the dependency on imported food.
“Malaysia has spent RM50 billion to import food substances for that matter,” Ismail reiterated. – Malaysia World News