MFICORD committed to support the National Agrofood Policy 2.0
Posted on : 21 Sep 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Dr Rundi (third left) accompanies Abang Johari (fifth left) during his visit to one of the exhibits held in conjunction with Cosaf 2022. Also seen are Dr Abdul Rahman (fourth left), Syed Razlan (sixth left) and Mohd Roslan (left). – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Sept 21): The newly named Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development (MFICORD) is committed to supporting the National Agrofood Policy 2021-2030 (NAP 2.0) to uphold the efficient management and modernisation of agro-food production, said its minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

He said the ministry is also confident that the NAP 2.0, developed by the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, was formulated with a vision to develop a sustainable, resilient and technology-based agro-food sector in driving economic growth, improving the well-being of the people of Sarawak, and prioritising food security and nutrition.

“When we talk about Sarawak’s target to be a net food exporter by 2030, we also have to be mindful of food security and make sure that there is a balance between this and profitability (from exporting food).

“This is something that is in our planning and we should be able to endorse this in every aspects of the agriculture centres that we have,” he said at the Congress on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security (Cosaf) 2022 which was launched by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg here today.

Dr Rundi also pointed out that there is a need for public-private partnerships to boost agriculture development in the state.

“In agriculture, we cannot do without community involvement. My plan is to make sure that we transform the subsistence farming or farming community into a more profitable initiative where they will go into ‘agropreneurship’ and move into the agro-industry.

“But this however, has to be done in stages and my ministry’s vision is to make sure we are able to transform our farming community in order for them to become a ‘high-income family’,” he said.

He said the ministry aimed for each farming household to earn a monthly RM6,000 income by the end of 2030.

“This will naturally help in our endeavor to alleviate poverty and so on,” he added.

He also said that research and development (R&D) plays a pivotal role in modernising the agriculture sector.

“We must be able to create the ecosystem but also the complete supply chain from R&D to introduce the theories and from there, we apply what is relevant which we can afford to digest and comprehend.

“We can then explain this to the farmers in a way that they can understand the methods easily and they can then apply them to their day-to-day operations or practice,” he said.

He stressed that it is time for the ministry to make sure that the farming practices of today are relevant and practical to the farming community.

“We cannot just pick something from the sky and tell the poor farmers to implement something they don’t understand.

“I hope that all of us can work together and propel our agriculture sector towards modern, competent agriculture and subsequently achieve our dream to make Sarawak the net food exporter by 2030,” he said.

On Cosaf, Dr Rundi said the international congress served as a timely effort for participants to make the first step towards sharing and exchanging of knowledge, ideas and experiences that can make the world a better place.

“I am highly impressed that several distinguished plenary and keynote speakers as well as participants from the country and overseas are actively participating in agricultural research and management at this congress,” he said.

Also present were Deputy Ministers of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail and Martin Ben, UPM Board of Directors chairman Datuk Seri Diraja Syed Razlan Syed Putra Jamalullail, UPM vice-chancellor Dato Prof Dr Mohd Roslan Sulaiman and Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development permanent secretary Datu Edwin Abit.