July 16, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Malaysia will call on ASEAN’s main rice supplier nations to give priority to exporting the staple food to member countries at the 45th ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF).

Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Chan Foong Hin said the matter would be raised during the bilateral discussion sessions with the countries at the AMAF, which is held here, today.

“Perhaps, at the bilateral sessions, we will raise it, just like how we want to further strengthen ties between two countries so that priority is given to exporting rice to ASEAN countries. Discussions may be held with either Thailand or Vietnam,” he told reporters after representing the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, in officiating the launch of the event here today.

Commenting on the White Rice Integrated Operations launched yesterday, Chan said comprehensive inspections at all levels of the paddy and rice industry chain will begin at any time.

Yesterday, Mohamad Sabu, when launching the ops, said it would involve paddy and rice regulatory bodies, the ministry, police, Malaysian Royal Customs Department  and Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Service Department (MAQIS).

Earlier Chan, in his remarks, said the sustainability of agricultural and forestry sectors, which is vital to the livelihoods of millions of people in ASEAN, faces imminent threats from climate change, overfishing, unsustainable agriculture practices and food wastage.

“It is incumbent upon us to safeguard this sector, a source of both sustenance and income, while responsibly managing our limited resources.

“Our shared vision to deepen linkages among ourselves and with external partners is a vital endeavour. In these turbulent times, a united ASEAN can better absorb and mitigate external shocks from policy shifts or regional conflicts, ensuring stability and prosperity for our people,” he said.