Johor has the potential to become Malaysia’s food basket and a source of food for neighboring countries through the national food security program.
Chairman of Johor agriculture, agro-industry and rural development committee Datuk Zahari Sarip said the state government formed a food security committee last year and it would be responsible for planning Johor’s path towards this goal.
“We hope to develop a sustainable and internationally competitive agro-food industry in terms of production and product quality.
“Johor has been the main producer of some of the country’s products such as fruits, vegetables, chicken and eggs which have been exported to other countries, such as Singapore and the Middle East,” he said. .
If the government could organize and exploit this growth potential, agriculture could become the main source of state revenue and improve the socio-economic conditions of agricultural actors, he added.
To strengthen Johor’s food security programme, Zahari said the state plans to introduce seven initiatives in line with this objective.
“We want to put in place the Johor Agrifood Policy 2022-2030 and improve the production of the country’s main products, fisheries, especially aquaculture, and ruminant and milk products.
“Improving our agricultural entrepreneurs and involving more young people in the sector is also part of the plan, in addition to improving the whole ecosystem and the food chain, producing high quality agricultural products,” he said. -he explains.
All of these efforts would also lead to more investors coming into the state, which in turn would help the government develop a larger project that would improve trade and the local economy, Zahari said. .
In order to improve the agricultural sector, he said the state has allocated 1,214 ha of land to be developed with high-end agricultural activities for both domestic and international markets.
“This project will have a direct economic impact on the affected farmers and the state government, in line with our mini farm to fork program.
“We hope this will also help attract more young people into the industry and make farming their main source of income,” he said, adding that there were 1.7 million young people in the state.
The use of technology in agriculture would also help attract more young people to be part of the industry, which is in line with the National Agribusiness Policy 2021-2030, Zahari noted.
“Some farms in the country have started using drones to manage and maintain their plantations; the use of technology has improved project management and reduced operating costs,” he pointed out.