Malaysia to grow own corn, reduces import dependency

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Malaysia plans to grow more of its own corn, to reduce dependency on imported corn by at least 30%. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries aims to develop a Grain Corn Industry Development Project to achieve this target by 2030.

Deputy Secretary-General Badrul Hisham Mohd said the country imports 4mt of feed corn valued at USD 1.40 billion/year. He said a large area is needed for planting corn. “We want to connect commodity industry players to be equally involved in this crop. We are also discussing with palm oil industry players so that they can allocate 10% of their land to plant corn,” he said.

Mr Hisham said having access to grain corn for livestock feed locally could potential reduce local meat production prices.

Efforts are underway

Mr Hisham added that efforts to reduce dependence on grain corn import started in 2015 and that it would take 15 years through three phases of implementation. He said  a long period is needed to enable research and studies to be done with stakeholders to create a stable industry.

“We are now at the end of the pilot phase for five years, from 2015 to 2022, and thereafter move on to consolidation and expansion phase. During this period, we evaluate various aspects that need to be considered, including cultivation methods, appropriate use of seeds, the weather, quality control and others,” he said.

With this project, he said the government could resolve the issue of supply for livestock feed, reduce subsidies while consumers stand to gain through it as well indirectly from better meat prices.

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Joint-Editor, Asian Meat Magazine and Meat Insider, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Rajeswari (Rush) analysed how the meat sector innovated itself via multiple ways in 'Sustainability, health drive the new Asian consumer’.