Sabah allocates RM561.81 million to improve food self-sufficiency

KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has allocated a total of RM561.81 million under the 2022 Budget to ensure sustained productivity and quality of Sabah’s agricultural products.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said it was also to ensure that Sabah’s Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) is increased annually through various modernisation initiatives.
He said the agriculture sector which covers crops, livestock and fishery is one of the three main economic sectors of the five-year Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) Development Plan from 2021.
The other two main economic sectors in the Hala Tuju SMJ Plan are the manufacturing industry and tourism, which among others are to build a united, peaceful and prosperous state and society, optimise state resources and revenue and improve the people’s economy.
Speaking at the 12th Edition of the Livestock, Aquaculture and Agriculture (LAA Sabah) Exhibition at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here on Friday, he said the economic growth will be driven by a faster-than-expected recovery in consumer demand, greater investor confidence, and consequently a more robust recovery in domestic economic activity.
Hajiji said Sabah is among the main exporters of fresh fish produce in Malaysia, contributing RM2.03 billion or about 15.7 percent annually to the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
“The State Government is focusing on downstream processing for its capture fishery into high-quality products. With the Federal empowerment on deep sea fishing to the Fisheries Department of Sabah, there are huge potentials for investors to venture into deep fishing and related downstream industries,” he said.
Hajiji said the prospect remained bright for the livestock sector as further expansion and effective improvement in key strategic enablers is in sight that will enhance the value chain systems of the entire industry.
“By 2030, the population of buffalo and cattle will be 26,248 head and 148,305 head respectively. The SSL for beef is projected to increase throughout the period until it reaches 21.3 per cent by 2030,” he said.
“The agriculture industry is an important contributor to the Malaysian Economy by providing rural employment, uplifting rural income and ensuring national food security. It also acts as a catalyst and key pillar to the country’s export,” he said.
“This is also an opportune time seeing that East Malaysia itself is a growth market for the agriculture, livestock and fishery and aquaculture,” he said, adding that Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan have a total combined population of 6 million in 2021.
Sabah’s agriculture sector alone contributed 15.9 per cent to the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021, the third highest contribution after its services sector at 47 per cent and mining and quarrying at 26 per cent.
On the LAA Sabah concurrently held with the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture & Agrotourism (MAHA 2022), the Chief Minister believed it would serve as an invaluable platform for participants to develop business partnerships, build new networks and to catch up on the latest industry trends.
With the commitment and efforts of the government in transforming this sector plus the rapid development of information technology and communication, the agriculture sector is still promising despite some issues and challenges.
“I am confident that the agriculture sector will prevail despite some issues and challenges and will continue to grow with the commitment and efforts of the government in transforming this sector coupled with the rapid development of information technology and communication,” he said.


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