Sunday, September 27, 2009

Felda Will Build National Food Warehouse: An Idea or A Dream?

Felda Will Build National Food Warehouse: An Idea or A Dream?

The Federal land Development Authority (Felda) will set up a National Food Warehouse. It was announced by Felda Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor. This is a second time I heard he made an "out of box" idea".

The first time about his idea was 15 years ago when Dr Mohd Yusof Noor was Menteri Besar Terengganu.He announced that Terengganu will build a LRT system after the same transport system was introduced in Klang Valley. People laugh about the idea, and it was stopped there!

According to the Felda Chairman, Felda will come up with a blueprint for the setting up of a national food warehouse in the next two months. The blueprint would include identifying the types of crops as well as methods of marketing the produce.

To implement the idea, a National Food Warehouse unit had been set up to help Felda realise the government's aspiration for the agency to earn revenue from other sources.

The unit will comprise a team of professionals and experts from Felda as well as those outside the agency. The blueprint will spell out plans for the next 15 years. The warehouse would require a RM750 million investment which it woild store vegetables, beef and fish products.

Let we discuss this brilliant idea....

The basic idea related to setting up a national food warehouse is producing and marketing of agricultural products. This is clearly stated in the out of date blueprint National Agriculture Policy.

Ministry of Agriculture has to change its name from Ministry of Agriculture to Ministry of Agriculture and Agrobased Industry because of challenges it faces when deal with "agriculture". Even, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia has changed its name to Universiti Putra Malaysia which was a wrong decision.

Ministry of Agriculture has introduced many initiatives to promote agriculture where it has a vision that by 2010 Malaysia will become a major food producer and net exporter of food in the world. This policy was introduced by Datuk Dr Nawawi when he was a minister of agriculture.

He was a good minister due to he was a business man before joining the goverment. He had tried hard to transform malaysian agriculture from "agriculture for the poor" to the "agriculture is a business". But his action plans were almost failed because he had to deal with the PTD officers who did not know anything about agriculture business except administering the office.

When Tan Sri Mahyuiddin took over the post of Minister of Agriculture, he has introduced many action plans to implement the Dr Nawawi's ideas. This include using a well known local consultant to promote Malaysia as a hub for aquaculure centre.

Government had launched an aquaculture pilot project in Tasik Kenyir Terengganu a few year ago. It was a brilliant idea due to it was a business driven in nature. But, today the project was failed. As Dr Nawawi faced, Tan Sri Mahyuddin faced many challenges with the PTD officers who come to the office to "makan gaji" not has a "business man attitude" to make agricuture is a business.

Other major initiative by the goverment is through FAMA by establishing TEMANs (a terminal for food warehouse in selected areas), but the projects were also failed.

And if we believe in past history of Malaysian agriculture, the National Food Warehouse sure will fail, except that there is "an abnormal action plan and out of box idea" comes from the Prime Minister Datuk Najib. I look he is a brilliant and hard working minister after Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

The main problem with the Malaysian agriculture is the political influences on agriculture and land matters. Both matters are state affairs and not a federal matter. The federal government can't do anything with the land matters eventhough the states are governed with the same political parties. For example, during the Barisan Nasional time, many paddy lands in Kedah, Perlis and Malacca were converted to housing projects even though the Federal Government had been trying to maintain paddy farms and increase the productivity of the paddy yield to meet at least 60% self-sufficientcy level for the nation.

With the different political backdrop in many states today, agriculture development in Malaysia is affected and could not be coordinated anymore. I don't thinks the states which are controlled by different political parties have the common understanding with the federal government when it comes to economic development agenda. Do you believe in me?

Believe me...Malaysian agriculture include food production policy is under uncertainty....



Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!

Combined Cycle Power Plant Training said...

To implement the idea, a National Food Warehouse unit had been set up to help Felda realise the government's aspiration for the agency to earn revenue from other sources.

terry said...

Hi Mansid

I just read your blog about the National Food Warehouse.

In most countries, the National Food Warehouse is just a term to signify the government's effort to secure food for the nation. A matter of national food security.

Countries such as China where its population is so huge that they have insufficient supply of locally sourced food or the Middle East where the terrain and climate makes it impossible to grow food and livestock well, are flocking to food rich countries such as Europe, USA, Brazil, Australia to buy land and contracting farmers exclusively for themselves.

This is also an effort to hedge against commodity price spikes that can hurt the economy.

I believe Malaysia imports RM28 bil of food materials a year. For a country with 28 million population, this figure is fairly astronomical.

As you rightly pointed out, Malaysia's reversal of its agricultural policy has ensured the doom of agri food business as I had once brought a well renowned agri food specialist to help develop contract farming only to realise that the foundation for raw material (feed ingredients) here is so poor that it is more economical to import finished food products than to grow it here.

I am writing to you to find out how I can help Malaysia build a sustainable National Food Warehouse. I am a businessman with vast links across the globe in both the agri food and logistics sector. I also work closely with the overseas EU-rated food producers and globally recognised halal promoters.

How do you envision a real national food warehouse concept would work?

I look forward to your take on this!



seema said...


Agro Malaysia Portal said...

Interesting topic to discuss. With current Malaysian politic now, we should pray this will be happen in one day and Malaysia will get benefits from this.