Focus on food security, Penang governor tells state

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

GEORGE TOWN, May 27 — Penang needs to prioritise its food security by ensuring food supplies are at an optimum level especially with the increase in inflation rates and prices of food, state Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak said today.

He said the overall inflation rate in Penang is up 2.2 per cent, similar to the increase in the national inflation rate.

The Penang governor pointed out that the inflation rate of food and non-alcoholic beverages grew 3.5 per cent due to the hike in food prices in March, compared to the same period last year.

'Therefore, the state government must focus on food security programmes so that the people are able to face the challenges brought about by inflation or hyperinflation, an issue that was much discussed at this time,' he said in his opening speech at the fifth term of the 14th state legislative assembly here this morning.

He said the state may not have wide agricultural lands but it can still increase its agricultural product through various measures including the use of technology.

'For example, this state was the highest paddy producer in Malaysia with a production of 5.214 metric ton per hectare in 2020 compared to 5.012 metric ton per hectare recorded in 2019,' he said.

He said in 2022, the state agricultural department is targeting to increase the average paddy production to 6.2 metric ton per hectare.

'As for fish farms, Penang is also the highest farmed fish producer in Malaysia for three years in a row, 2019, 2020 and 2021,' he said.

Ahmad Fuzi noted Penang has a total of 226 fish farmers who produced 12,039.45 metric tonnes of farmed fish, which is equivalent to RM260.8 million in 2021.

'To ensure sustainability and transform the agriculture section, we need the private sector to play an active role especially for large scale and high technology farms,' he said.

But he said private investments in the agro-food industry is still trailing the services, manufacturing and plantation industries.

He asked the state assemblymen to propose long-term ideas that Penang can take to draw investments in the agro-food industry, as well as to overcome fly infestation issues in South Seberang Perai.

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