MAFI confident Sarawak’s agrofood industry will thrive once country’s borders reopen

Dr Ronald (second left) presenting a mock cheque to PENESA during MAFI's Luncheon Talk Ceremony with Industry Players.

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, March 31: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) hopes that the reopening of the country’s borders on April 1 will further boost the country’s agrofood industry, said Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.

He believes that the opening will continue to contribute to the country’s economic growth as it enters the endemic phase.

“Previously (during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown), there were restrictions imposed on restaurants, café, hotels, and others.

“However, with the reopening of the country’s borders, which is expected to attract more tourists from abroad, the agrofood sector will benefit indirectly,” he said today at the MAFI Luncheon Talk Ceremony with Industry Players held at Dewan Majma’ Tunku Abd Halim Mu’adzam Shah in Kuching.

According to a press release from MAFI, the purpose of today’s MAFI Luncheon Talk Ceremony with Industry Players is to strengthen the National Food Security agenda through the ideas, views, and suggestions of industry players in Sarawak in driving the direction of the agrofood sector, particularly food security, in order to keep up with current needs.

The programme includes agrofood industry players from the fisheries, crops, livestock subsectors, and the entire agrofood chain, as well as other departments and agencies with an interest in the agrofood sector.

The theme ‘Pemodenan dan Productiviti Menjamin Sekuriti Makanan’ was chosen in accordance with the emphasis placed through the implementation of the National AgroFood Policy (DAN) 2.0 (2021-2030), which is the modernisation of the agricultural sector, with an emphasis on food security.

“MAFI is concerned about meeting the needs of agrofood sector workers and has taken the initiative to hold dialogue sessions to ensure the survival of industry players so that they can continue to contribute to the country and recover from the pandemic.

“This is a platform for the government/MAFI to solicit ideas and suggestions from the industry in identifying issues in the agrofood sector, particularly food security issues, before appropriate intervention measures are implemented in accordance with holistic developments to strengthen the country’s agrofood sector,” MAFI stated.

During the ceremony, Dr Ronald presented to the State Fishermen’s Association of Sarawak (PENESA) a dividend of RM192,032.10 and the Sportfishing project allocation of RM50,000 to the KUNITA Fishermen’s Association (PNK).

Also present were Datuk Seri Hj Ahmad bin Hamzah, Deputy Minister I MAFI and Encik Maclaine @ Martin Ben, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Modernization and Regional Development of Sarawak. — DayakDaily