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80 Pct Self-Sufficiency Level For Rice Good Enough Till 2020

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SERDANG – Rice production in the country reaching 80 per cent self-sufficiency level will be good enough for the people until 2020, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said this was the latest estimate on the self-sufficiency level needed for rice production after taking into consideration that about 20 per cent of the people would not opt for locally produced rice even though the target earlier was 100 per cent by 2020.

The current level was 72 per cent, he said, adding that the 80 per cent level could be attained with greater efficiency and less wastage along the supply chain.

“If farmers can improve their yields from five tonnes to six tonnes and wastage is reduced after the harvesting process, certainly rice production will increase,” he said.

Ahmad Shabery told this to reporters after checking on final preparations for the the national-level Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen’s Festival 2017 at the Malaysian Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) here today.

Themed “Makanan Kita, Masa Depan Kita” (Our Food, Our Future), the four-day festival opens tomorrow.

Elaborating further, Ahmad Shabery said it was feared 100 per cent self-sufficiency level would lead to other problems like an oversupply situation.

“So, our focus now is to reach 80 per cent self-sufficiency level,” he said.

On the preparations for the festival, Ahmad Shabery said it was “all systems go” and that it would be a family-friendly one.

He said there would be sale of perishables, popular snacks, exhibitions on agriculture technology, ecotourism and many others.

“We targeting 500, 000 visitors and sales turnover of RM30 million. The festival is open to all and not limited to those in the agriculture industry.

“Those living and grew up in urban areas might not know much about livestock, so this will be a good opportunity for them especially the younger ones. We are making it more like a weekend getaway, that is our main attraction,” he said.

The festival is organised by the ministry and all departments and agencies under it.- BERNAMA

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