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Reduce Dependence On Imported Vegetable Seeds

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SEPANG – The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is committed towards developing a technology that will reduce the country’s agriculture sector on imported vegetable seeds.

Its minister, Salahuddin Ayub, said a discussion on the matter would be held with the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (Mardi), as also the relevant department.

If possible, we want to reduce by up to 90 per cent on imported vegetable seeds to enhance the capability of our local agriculture industry, he added.

He said empowering of the local seed industry would enable farmers to obtain the seeds at cheaper price and of similar quality with imported seeds , hence reducing the factors that contributed to the increase in food prices.

The country’s ability to produce only 10 per cent of the seeds is among the factors that hamper the growth of the vegetable farming sector, he told a media conference after a dialogue with participants of the Bukit Damar agro-entrepreneur project in Dengkil here today.

He expressed confidence that with Mardi’s expertise, with the support of the relevant departments, Malaysia would be able to produce its own quality vegetable seeds.

Also present was Agriculture director-general Datuk Jamal Harizan Yang Razali.

Salahuddin also expressed the need for the Agriculture Department to provide more courses for farmers on the use of modern technology in farming by emulating the training modules implemented in countries like Taiwan, Japan and Thailand.

In another development, Salahuddin said the proposal by the Advisory Council set up by the government for subsidy given to padi farmers to be expanded to other crop was not intended to reduce the amount of the subsidy.

Instead, it was to use the subsidy for other crops top increase the household income of the farmers concerned, he added. – BERNAMA

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