Skip to main content

Govt mulling importing more food

As published in Malay Mail today

 By Haresh Deol

PETALING JAYA — The prolonged heatwave is taking a toll on farmers as they face low yields compounded by water shortage.
The situation may force the government to import agricultural produce as demand is expected to surge ahead of Ramadan, which will be observed in June, and the Hari Raya celebrations the following month.
“Right now, most of the produce are from the earlier stock, so the prices are still ok. My worry is the new stock, especially in the next month or two,” said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
“Farmers are not producing as much as they want and this is disrupting supply. Naturally, when demand is high and the supply is low, prices will increase.”
He said his ministry is in the midst of compiling information regarding the output of local farmers to see if they are able to meet the demand of traders and consumers, especially during Ramadan and Hari Raya.
“We have to juggle between the interests of the masses and local farmers. We plan to intervene by liberalising imports. This will ensure enough food to meet demand.
“But I’m not very keen on importing agricultural produce as this will effect the livelihood of local farmers. We are monitoring the situation closely and hope to strike the right balance.
“My other biggest worry is water supply. This will also disrupt production. As such, we are looking at various ways to channel water to farms and orchards.”
He said the ministry will ensure prices of produce will not rise sharply, especially during Ramadan and Hari Raya.
The ministry’s agricultural department deputy director-general (operations), Zanil Abdin Yusof, said vegetables production is expected to drop by 15 to 20 per cent if the hot weather continues until next month.
“The El Nino effect will have an impact on the production of vegetables which require a larger quantities of water,” he was reported by Bernama as saying.
The harvest of fruits like durians, mangoes, rambutan, bananas and jackfruit will also be effected, he said.
Zanil suggested vegetables and fruit farmers increase the capacity of their retention ponds and use more organic materials when preparing soil for planting.


Popular posts from this blog

What went wrong with KL SEA Games?

145 gold medals.
It's the best Team Malaysia has ever achieved since the inception of the SEAP Games in1959.
The 29th edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur ended yesterday. The opening ceremony dazzled those at the stands and viewers at home while the performances during the closing ceremony yesterday jogged plenty of musical memories to many.
Our athletes, the real superheroes, brought smiles through their heroic display. They made everyday a happy day.
Kudos to the officials - from the coaches, the National Sports Institute and National Sports Council - for their hard work in ensuring our athletes perform to their best.
But it was not all memorable.

'World fashion disaster' in KL

World Fashion Week Asia 2017 ended over the weekend.

And the launch on Friday at Palace of the Golden Horses at Mines Resort City just outside Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a forgettable night.


It was poorly organised.

Just as many are trying to get over the nightmare witnessed throughout the KL SEA Games, the organiser of World Fashion Week Asia 2017 has made it look like Malaysians seem to have lost it when it comes to hosting major events and hospitality.

Here's why.

Royal protocol ignored

1. The Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah was invited to grace the event.
    a. There was no holding room for the Sultanah and VIPs accompanying her.
    b. The Sultanah was invited on stage without anyone accompanying her there (a big NO NO if anyone knows protocol involving royalty).
    c. The event dragged on till 11.30pm, way past the cut off point of the very many events I've attended with members of the royal family present.
   d. The Sultanah was forced to walk all t…

Klang run 'illegal', says Sports Commissioner

UPDATE (Dec 11; 11.58am): Sporting events approved by Sports Commissioner's Office will be posted on the Youth and Sports Ministry's website starting Dec 14, as revealed by the Sports Commissioner in her statement today. I'm glad the last point of my observation (as per posting right below) has been addressed.


UPDATE (10.57pm): A Twitter user had sent me a link by the organiser of the Klang Heritage Marathon 2017. It states that the marathon has been "postponed to Oct 14, 2018" and that they have been victims of fake news and will lodge reports with the authorities against materials with elements of defamation or fake news. Read the full statement, posted on Dec 2, here.


A Klang City International Marathon 2017 pacer suffered serious injuries after she and two others were hit by a car

Turns out that the organiser of this morning's event, Earth Runners International Group Sdn Bhd, DID NOT submit any application to the Sports Commissioner&#…