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    Sarawak to industrialise agriculture sector to lower food trade deficit


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    SIBU: Sarawak’s food trade balance deficit has been steadily increasing over the past five years, with a deficit of RM4.65bil recorded in 2021 compared to RM3.86bil in 2018.

    The Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, has announced that measures are being taken to address this deficit and transform the agriculture sector into a vibrant and profitable economic sector.

    Dr Rundi Utom stated, “Our goal is to shift the perception of the agriculture sector from low-income and unskilled jobs to a high-income profession that will attract younger generations and professionals.”

    During the closing of the three-day Senior Officers’ Conference (SOC) on Friday night (July 7), Dr Rundi Utom highlighted the focus areas to achieve this transformation. These include establishing more and larger designated farming areas, improving productivity, and strengthening the food supply chain.

    Additionally, efforts will be made to enhance support systems and services, increase farmers’ knowledge and skills, and ensure market compliance. Dr Rundi Utom also emphasized the need for agencies under the Ministry to report on key performance indicators (KPIs) related to six strategic thrusts.

    The six strategic thrusts identified are as follows: ensuring food security, industrializing the agrofood sector, strengthening farm infrastructure, distribution and marketing of agriculture products, uplifting the livelihood of farmers and rural communities, strengthening agro-commodity development, and unlocking the potential of Native Customary Right land for agriculture.

    Dr Rundi Utom stressed the need for close monitoring of the activities and development stages outlined in the KPIs, aligning them with the Ministry’s overall direction.

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    Credit: The Star : News Feed

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