The Johor Agriculture Department has been allocated RM16.66 million by the Finance Ministry to develop a Food Security Programme in order to make the state the country’s main food production centre.
The funding, according to Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir. Haji Hasni Mohammad, will allow the department to oversee six programmes involving 1,583 participants, including leading enterprises and entrepreneurs, from this year until 2022, in order to secure an adequate food supply that is also safe to consume.
He stated that RM2mil would be channelled from the funds provided to a collaboration initiative between leading enterprises and farmers, as well as the Agro-Based Industry (IAT).
“This programme is a collaboration between leading companies which act as the industry players with IAT to deal in the buying and selling of crops and subsequently establishing contract farming agreements.
“An understanding will be achieved with leading companies and entrepreneurs that would help achieve relevant market pricing which is beneficial to both parties based on the advice of the State Agriculture Department,” he said in a statement.
According to Hasni, the leading companies will be in charge of finding markets both locally and internationally, while entrepreneurs will be in charge of ensuring that the products are created in the appropriate number and quality and that they are safe for consumption.
Under the programme, each leading company will receive a maximum incentive of RM50,000 while each entrepreneur will receive a maximum incentive of RM20,000, he said, adding that the incentives given would be in the form of equipment, machinery, fixtures or infrastructure that is needed.
He went on to say that the programme is aimed at increasing productivity by building a farm produce collection centre to ensure that the marketing process runs smoothly, thus resolving marketing issues and agriculture product dumping, which entrepreneurs face all the time, especially in terms of getting a fair market price.
This, he says, is part of an initiative to get entrepreneurs out of the B40 (Bottom 40) group. In fact, he predicted that leading enterprises would be able to obtain an adequate supply of high-quality agricultural products, boosting the country’s subsistence rate.
For Phase One, the State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, and Rural Development Committee chairman Datuk Samsolbari Jamali and Johor State Agriculture director Alang Mad Daud Dawan, as well as six leading firms and 20 entrepreneurs, signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Hasni, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and State Secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani.