Penang allocates RM6.9m for agricultural sector next year

Penang allocates RM6.9m for agricultural sector next year

BUTTERWORTH: The Penang government has allocated RM6.9 million for the agricultural sector in the state next year in an effort to ensure increased agricultural yields and food security.

Penang Agriculture Department director Mohd Muhaimin Ibrahim said the allocation next year was also the highest since 2019, and this showed that the state government was committed to helping increase the income of farmers, breeders, fishermen and entrepreneurs involved.

“The amount allocated by the state government for agriculture in 2019 was RM3 million per year, however, the amount increased to RM5 million starting in 2020, which is an increase of RM2 million for the agriculture sector, besides the additional allocation given as a ‘one-off’.

“Until 2023 (next year), a total of RM6.9 million will be allocated for the agriculture sector alone, and this means that the state government is indeed paying attention to this sector in an effort to ensure that agricultural yields improve.

“For example, this year, Penang recorded the country’s highest average rice production, reaching 5.7 tonnes throughout the year, even though the area used for rice cultivation in the state is only about 12,105 hectares,“ he told reporters here today.

Mohd Muhaimin was met after the opening ceremony of the course for Safe Food Industry Responsibility (MeSTI), Food Safety Information System of Malaysia (FoSIM) and Food Quality certification for participants of the ‘Farmers to Farmers’ programme under the State Department of Agriculture by State Agrotechnology and Food Safety, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr. Norlela Ariffin.

Meanwhile, Mohd Muhaimin said the ‘Farmers to Farmers’ programme was started last year to help farmers increase their income, with a focus on fertigation crops such as chillies, vegetables and mushrooms, involving 60 participants.

He said this year, the programme was extended to housewives, part-time workers and entrepreneurs producing food products, mainly frozen food on a small scale, by providing various assistance, especially in terms of equipment and courses.

“This year, we spent RM900,000 for the programme, we provide courses and assistance in the form of equipment and so on, participants are also taken on entrepreneurship tours, including to Selangor, which was held recently,“ he said. – Bernama