Dropping PA for food imports is a good move to stabilize prices, says academic

On May 18, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Cabinet had agreed not to impose food import requirements on PAs with immediate effect to ensure the country has an adequate food supply. — Photo by Yusof Mat Isa

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 9:08 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 – Government decision to scrap Approved Permit (AP) to import food with immediate effect on May 18 is the right measure to stabilize food prices, says Professor Datuk Dr Mad of the Faculty of Agriculture from Universiti Putra Malaysia Nasir Shamsudin.

He said the world is currently experiencing a food price crisis with rising costs of supplies, including feed for livestock.

He said that, based on information provided by industry players, the measures taken by the government had started to have a positive effect, with food prices in the market falling.

“The government has two policy options, namely to take care of the producers or to take care of the welfare of the consumers.

“For the abolition of the PA, the prices will go down, it means that the government takes care of the well-being of the consumers, in addition to managing the inflation rate of the country,” he said last night in as a guest on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara show. , which also included Managing Director of Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad, Datuk Dr Ameer Ali Mydin.

Ameer Ali, who is also the president of the Bumiputera Retailers Association, described the repeal of the PA as a bold move by the government which has helped traders and consumers in particular to stock up on groceries. at reasonable market prices.

“At the moment, for the PA, we are focusing very closely on chicken, but the price of cabbage has also gone down because there is no PA. We lowered the price (of cabbage) by more than 40 sen. Due to the (implementation of) AP (before that) we had to pay (an extra) about 30-40 sen.

“(So) the PA repeal has really helped people get a fair and competitive price,” he said.

On May 18, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Cabinet had agreed not to impose food import requirements on PAs with immediate effect to ensure the country has an adequate food supply.

However, Mad Nasir was of the opinion that the complete removal of PA was not very suitable in the long term, as he feared that it would affect the country’s food self-sufficiency level (SSL) and deviate from the strategic plan. promoting local food production.

He said that since the SSL for staple foods in the country was weak, it was important for the country to protect its food production industry and restore PA when the situation recovers in the future to maintain security. country food.

“We have to understand that the PA aims to ensure that certain food import quotas are set to boost the country’s agricultural production and help local farmers,” he said.

Based on the National Agri-Food Policy 2021-2030, SSL is defined as an indicator measuring a country’s ability to meet food needs from its own national production.

Mad Nasir also suggested that all state governments create more farmland with the help of the federal government to provide yield-based incentives, in addition to inviting more young people to get involved as agricultural entrepreneurs. . — Bernama

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