Agriculture Ministry monitoring effects of Russia-Ukraine crisis on country’s agrofood sector

HULU SELANGOR: The Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry will monitor the effects of the crisis between Russia and Ukraine on the country’s agrofood sector.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said this was because Malaysia had a dependence on goods produced by the countries involved, and any crisis would surely have a huge impact on the agrofood industry.

He said that if the crisis prolonged, the government would not discount implementing alternative measures, including encouraging the use of organic fertilisers in the agriculture sector, to replace chemical fertilisers.

This, he said, was after taking into account that Russia is among the world’s leading fertiliser producers.

“We will look into that. In fact, we have promoted the use of organic fertilisers in addition to existing chemical fertilisers.

“Even the organic fertiliser industry has grown in the country and is able to produce various brands of organic fertilisers for use in the agricultural sector,” he said after visiting a poultry farm and broiler here on Monday (Feb 28).

Ronald also felt that the recent increase in feed prices, which affected poultry and egg production, had highlighted the importance of Malaysia having a new policy, namely to encourage the cultivation of corn in the agricultural industry.

He said this was a long-term measure to reduce Malaysia’s dependence on imports of animal feed from countries like Argentina and Brazil.

He said the government currently provided a subsidy of RM528.52mil to the poultry industry to help them cope with the increased production costs following the spike in feed prices.

“So far, this subsidy will be given for a period of four months and, after that, the government will study whether it is to be continued or stopped,” he said.

The announcement of the subsidy in early February was 60 sen per kg to poultry farmers and a subsidy of 5 sen per egg, with application to get them open from today until June 6. – Bernama