Clusters created to improve food security – PMO

PUTRAJAYA – The Cabinet Committee on National Food Security Policy agreed at its first meeting today to create four clusters as a strategy to improve the quality and food security by optimising existing resources.

The committee, which was chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin here today, was set up following the COVID-19 pandemic and is responsible for the holistic scrutiny of food security issues involving aspects on the food supply chain, manpower, technological applications, financial resources, investment and land and infrastructure use.

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According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), issued in conjunction with the meeting here, the establishment of the four clusters under three ministries and one agency was a result of the meeting agreeing on the proposed National Food Security Framework as recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Two of the clusters are the Availability Cluster under the Secretariat of the National Agricultural Advisory Council (MPPN), Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI); and Accessibility Cluster under the Secretariat of the National Action Council on Cost of Living, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

The other two are the Food Safety and Nutrition Cluster under the Secretariat of the National Food and Nutrition Safety Council, Health Ministry; and the Stability and Sustainability Cluster under MAFI and National Security Council (MKN).

“The four clusters will work to highlight issues and solutions related to the food chain system, as well as the implementation of the strategies that have been identified,” the statement reads.

The PMO said a total of five working papers covering strategies to strengthen the nation’s agro-food sector based on increased domestic production, expansion of modern technology and reduced dependence on imports were discussed at the meeting.

The committee has 11 permanent members, comprising Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee; Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar and Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

Others include Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali; Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi; Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali; Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong; Rural Development Minister Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad; and Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusoff; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Duties) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof and Bank Negara Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus are invited members.

The PMO said the committee would be assisted by an Executive Committee chaired by Kiandee, who will coordinate the suggestions to strengthen the country’s food security as well as to regulate the implementation of decisions and directives of the Cabinet Committee.

“The Cabinet Committee is expected to strengthen the governance of the national food security and transform the agro-food sector to a better level, thus ensuring guaranteed food supply,” it said.

— BERNAMA