Monday, May 23, 2022

Food crisis because of policy switch to industrialisation, says economist

Food crisis because of policy switch to industrialisation, says economist

Noor Azlan Ghazali said the abolition of import permits for food supply would expose Malaysia to stiff competition on the global market for food products.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia took a wrong turn away from agriculture in the 1980s-90s with too much emphasis on industrialisation and is now paying the price with a food supply crisis, says economist Noor Azlan Ghazali.

He said the food crisis was made worse by the Covid-induced economic recession and Russia-Ukraine conflict but the root of the problem lay in the policy switch.

“We were so into manufacturing and talking about (embracing) modern technology, that we somehow missed the agricultural sector,” he said at a forum organised by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Agricultural production was practised on a small scale with low application of technology, he said. “We did not show our prowess in the production of various breeds of crop seeds.”

He said the lifting of import licences for food supply would ease the inflow, but there was a huge challenge for Malaysia to cope with global competition for supplies.

Focus on fair prices, not cheap prices

Noor Azlan, a former executive director of the Economic Action Council, urged the government to shift its focus from ensuring that prices of goods were cheap, to ensuring that prices were fair to both consumers and sellers.

He said by focusing on making goods cheaper, the government will “kill” other economic dimensions that were critical, such as automation, upskilling, and increasing investment.

“In many cases, the government has not been successful in making things cheaper. Instead, other problems emerge such as hoarding of goods,” he added.

Noor Azlan, who is currently director of a policy institute at UKM, said the government should focus on fostering a healthy market with healthy competition among economic players to ensure that prices of goods were fair for both sides.

“We need to go for fair prices for both sides – for the consumers that buy goods and the sellers so that they get a fair price that would ensure the continuation of their economic activities,” he added.

He said the Malaysia Competition Commission played a crucial role in fostering a healthy market by tackling elements of monopoly in the market.


kt comments (posted this early this morning in another post RM200 a month for the poor better than Sapura bailout, says MP):

I saw video clips of "bouncers" deliberately slashing-destroying cabbages of Chinese farmers who, alas, grew those veg on unlicensed government land. Yes, the land used to grow crops were unlicensed because the state government refused the farmers' applications to legally use the land for donkey years; yet surely the deliberate mindless destruction of those vegetables must have been a great "sin". Likewise for those who went around chopping off some 15,000 durian trees of, yet again, durian farmers without state licences to grow fruits and vegetables, only because the state government refused their applications for years.

Azumu as MB Perak seized such land (cultivated for 40+years) to gift to his fave state footballers.

No comments:

Post a Comment