May 21, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Malaysia willing to help local agri-sector

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has gained support from Malaysia in the government’s efforts to improve the agricultural sector in the Philippines as it was among the sectors hardly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

“Agriculture, again is of primary importance to the Philippines, and we are happy that we have partners who will help us with the biotech,” President Marcos said during the roundtable meeting on Thursday, which was part of the three-day state visit of President Marcos to Malaysia.

The roundtable meeting was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

During the meeting, DTI Secretary Alfred Pascual reported to President Marcos about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the Philippine companies and entities with their Malaysian counterparts that would spur trade and investment opportunities in agriculture.

ASEAN BAC Malaysia, represented by Tan Sri Nazir Razak and ASEAN BAC Philippines, represented by Mr. Joey Concepcion, who were present during the meeting, both said they will be jointly conducting studies and mentorship channels for potential agriculture, agriculture technology and food security in the Philippines.

They will also conduct studies on agri-preneurship business models and value chain development among small, medium and large farmers, enterprises, and government entities.

The joint venture is also interested in identifying the business requirements to develop trade and investment opportunities in palm oil, rubber, fruits, poultry, agri-tech and other agricultural products and services of Malaysia and the Philippines.

President Marcos stood firm that the cooperation in the agricultural sectors of the Philippines and Malaysia will help the efforts of the administration to address the problems of the farmers with regards to various diseases such as swine flu and the Avian flu.

“That is something that we are still having to work with,” President Marcos, who is also the concurring secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said.

“But we are making progress and we are heading I think down the road where we can say that if our plans are – we achieved what we have planned to achieve, then we will have been able to provide the food that is needed to feed the country and to provide our economy with a firm foundation on which to build on,” he added.

In his visit to Malaysia, President Marcos noted the agricultural commodities in the Philippines suddenly destabilized due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russian conflict.

But the chief executive emphasized that those incidents were part of the Philippine government’s “critical elements” that are being considered in the efforts to address the issue and eventually revitalize the economy, which also affected by the pandemic.

“It turns out that it is not only because we need to feed our people, we need to have accessible in price, accessible in terms of markets food supply to our people, it turns out that it is not only the survival aspect of food supply, but it is also the foundation of any strong economy,” Marcos said.

“And therefore, we have had to base a lot of our planning again on the development of agriculture. So this comes at a critical time I think not only for the Philippines, I think it comes at a time when we are all having to readjust and rethink how we do business, not only in agriculture but all kinds of – all the other different sectors,” he added.

The President stood firm that the Philippine government is working for any kind of development in terms of agricultural commodities in the country.