The Growth of Agriculure

Food insecurity by 2030

According to United Nations, an estimated 840 million of the world’s population will face food insecurity by 2030 if the issue is not addressed immediately. Therefore, food security has become a top priority in many countries.

In Malaysia, the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (MAFS) said the food security situation is still good, but the country needs to address some disruptions caused by geopolitical tensions that have impacted poultry supply.

Malaysia ranked 40th on the Global Security Food Index (GSFI) six years ago, with a heavy reliance on imports for essential food products. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia is now ranked 41st on the GSFI.

Malaysia remains vulnerable to food insecurity in the future due to being reliant on imports for maintaining its food supply, especially for rice. In fact, it does not produce enough food to feed its people and industries, with agricultural productivity being only 45% of the average for high-income countries. 

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), in order to meet the needs and demands of the country’s consumers, food products from other countries — particularly onions, dairy products, coffee, wheat flour, tea, shallots, potatoes and cooking oil — have to be imported. 

Malaysia is also heavily reliant on imports of mango and coconut to meet domestic demand. As stated in the report, mango and coconut came primarily from Thailand, Indonesia and India respectively. 

MAFS disclosed that the agriculture sector only contributed 7.1% of the total GDP in 2021. The sector seemingly became a less powerful engine of Malaysia’s economic growth. 

Agriculture plays an important role as a food provider, job creator and generates income from export products and as an input to other industries. Two strategies under the Policy Thrust embrace modernization and smart agriculture in the ministry’s National Agro-food Policy 2021-2030 (DAN2.0).

Reflecting on those strategies, MAFS intends to invest in more innovation programmes and activities to support the advancement of agro-tech by strengthening the link between basic research output with industrial application to increase the rate of contribution by RDCI towards modernization of the agro-food subsector. 

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