Asean food-supplying countries pledge to prioritise export to member states

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu with guests from Asean states, Japan and South Korea visiting the Shah Alam National Botanical Garden. Photo courtesy of Mohamad Sabu FB.

SHAH ALAM, Oct 5 (Bernama) — ASEAN food-supplying countries have pledged their commitment to prioritise the export of food commodities to member countries facing shortages.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said the commitment was one of the important decisions reached during the ongoing 45th ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) Meeting.

“We discussed the issue of food security, for example, if there is a shortage among ASEAN countries, we hope that other ASEAN countries can quickly step in to provide support.” 

Mohamad said this to reporters after visiting the Shah Alam National Botanical Garden with the meeting delegations, which included Japan and South Korea as members of the ASEAN Plus 3, as well as Timor Leste as an observer of ASEAN.

The minister said his Thai counterpart had also given Thailand’s commitment to supply rice and chicken to Malaysia more quickly if necessary and according to its capabilities.

“If we want to get supplies from Brazil, it might take some time, but with Thailand, we can get chicken in less than a week if we need it, and the same goes for rice.

“The (Thai) minister said that as long as they have the capacity, they will continue to sell their rice to Malaysia, and Vietnam, as a rice producer, has also expressed their prioritisation of ASEAN countries,” Mohamad said.

On the visit to the Shah Alam National Botanical Garden, Mohamad said the relevant parties need to intensify promotion to attract more local and foreign tourists to the garden.

The botanical garden is located within the Bukit Cherakah Permanent Forest Reserve area and has been designated for federal purposes.

Currently, about 200 hectares have been developed for conservation, research, education, exploration, and agrotourism purposes, managed by TBNSA under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.