Malaysia: Johor urged to do more for agriculture sector

MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 25 Nov 15;

NUSAJAYA: The Johor government should focus more on the agriculture sector that would ensure national food security and its value chain remains under control from time to time.

State Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) chairman Datuk Samsol Bari Jamali said among the methods include conducting a study on whether Johor government has followed the National Agro Food Policy 2011-2020.

“Food is a very important sector to a nation’s growth where it can be used as a diplomatic tool, just like the United States where they are rice exporters, but their own people do not eat it.

“At the moment, Johor is the largest food producer for poultry, eggs, and vegetables in the country, but it is not enough and the government should give priority to the sector and revive it,” he said.

Samsol said this at a press conference held at Bangunan Sultan Ismail here on the sidelines of the state assembly sitting on Monday.

Samsol, who is the Semarang assemblyman, said at the moment there is a lot of attention being given to commodities such as rubber trees and palm oil in the state.

“We are hopeful that the government will ensure the sector’s growth, especially within the Agriculture Department where the usage of technology is much needed,” he said.

He also called upon the government to take action against landowners who misuse their land meant for agriculture for other commodities without informing the authorities.

“They are paying less taxes as these farmers claim to use their land for agriculture but are in fact planting oil palm tress instead,” he said.

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