Such dependence makes Malaysia vulnerable to price shocks, as experienced in the global food crisis in 2008 when the price of rice jumped almost 75% and wheat soared 130% due to supply shortages and strong demand from a growing world population.
"Malaysia must now put a higher priority on R&D on strategic crops such as rice, utilizing the latest techniques from modern biotechnology," said Zakri Abdul Hamid, the Science Adviser to the Prime Minister and a trained plant breeder himself.
Added Datuk Sri Zakri: "In December, Malaysia will hold talks with world experts, including a group from the renowned Norman Borlaug Institute, on securing our rice supply. This dialogue will seek ways to build further on Malaysia's commitment to agriculture research, demonstrated in a very tangible way last June when the Prime Minister launched the new Crops for the Future Research Centre (CFFRC), creating knowledge of value to be applied here at home and shared worldwide as well."
Food security requires double production by 2050
Earlier this year, Aalt A. Dijkhuizen, a renowned international agricultural scientist from the Netherlands, told fellow GSIAC members that Malaysia, like countries worldwide, will need to double food production by 2050 due to population growth and rising living standards.
Dr. Dijkhuizen, President and Chairman of the Executive Board, Wageningen University and Research Centre, says meeting that daunting challenge is possible but results will be gradual and efforts must begin now. And he detailed ways to secure the future of the country's food supply through seed research, a more sophisticated universal system of forecasting relevant crop prices, and high-tech ass
|Contact: Terry Collins