Ministry taking steps to address food trade deficit since 2014, says Dr Rundi

Posted on 24 May 2024
Source of News: Borneo Post

Dr Rundi (seated middle) addresses the press conference. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (May 14): Sarawak’s food trade balance deficit has risen in the last decade since 2014, Food Industry, Commodities and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly today.

“In 2023, Sarawak recorded a food trade deficit amounting to RM5.67 billion, compared to RM3.04 billion in 2014 mainly due to increase in food consumption, inefficiency in food production, under-utilisation of local raw materials and weakening of Ringgit,” he said in his ministerial winding up speech.

Considering the current food trade deficit, he said the Sarawak agriculture strategic development plan is emphasising on proliferating both food self-sufficiency and food export earnings.

“My ministry will actively pursue the industrialisation of the agriculture sector which emphasises on increasing domestic agricultural productivity, promoting value-added processing industries, diversifying export products, and improving trade facilitation measures to reduce reliance on food imports and enhance export competitiveness,” he said.

At a press conference after his speech, Dr Rundi said the only way is to change farmers’ mindset, attitude and also to adopt new technology of doing farming.

“And my hope, being having this background as a son of a farmer, my hope is to see the image of being a farmer will be changed one day, the way it can be changed in other advanced countries, in Australia, in New Zealand and so on.

“People look high up upon the farmers, because these are the pillars of their not only providing food to eat but the revenue for the country.

“And that one day, we shall be able to achieve that aspiration,” he said.

Copyright © 2020 Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity And Regional Development Sarawak
Last Updated On 13 Jun 2024

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