The National Commodity Policy will be improved with the inclusion of a new direction and targets for the nation’s agro-commodity industry, says Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
She said efforts to determine the direction and initiatives to develop the industry in the short and medium terms will be made through settlement sessions between the ministry and the relevant agencies and other interested parties.
Kok said the sessions will seek to obtain views and proposals from the industry, as well as oil palm, rubber, cocoa, pepper and kenaf smallholders, with the 11th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review (11MP MTR) as the main reference document.
The sessions will also review the achievement of the ministry’s targets for 2018 and its strategies, targets and action plans under the 11MP MTR, she said.
"The sessions will also set the long-term direction for the agro-commodity industry covering investment promotion, identification of opportunities and new commodities with potential as new sources of wealth for the country,” Kok said at the ministry’s monthly assembly in Putrajaya today.
The National Commodity Policy 2011-2020 targets to raise revenue from the nation’s commodity exports to RM242.5 billion by 2020.
Investment promotion missions abroad
Kok said the agro-commodity sector’s weak performance this year prompted the ministry to host several investment promotion missions abroad, including to China, North Africa, Colombia and the United States.
She said the ministry will also launch a “Love Malaysia’s Palm Oil” campaign to raise public awareness on the benefits of palm oil products.
"The government's efforts to address the global anti-palm oil sentiment will be meaningless if Malaysians themselves do not use the products themselves daily at home,” she added.
She noted that the campaign will be supported by state governments after the ministry’s proposal was raised by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the recent meeting of menteris besar and chief ministers.
Efforts to aggressively fight the anti-palm oil sentiment will also be supported by government-linked as well as private companies, with AirAsia having voiced its agreement to be involved in the campaign, she added.