Agriculture may be answer to unemployment issue

A MUNDANE economy in the wake of covid-19 has left many wage-earners jobless and forced businesses to shutdown. Delving into agriculture as a source of income could be an option to resolve the unemployment issue.

Malaysia’s spending on food imports reached RM34.2 billion as of August last year.

Earlier this year, the Malaysian Reserve quoted former finance minister Dr Daim Zainuddin as saying that agriculture was a viable solution to Malaysia’s economic woes due to the constant demand for food.

In that direction, last year former prime minister Dr Mahathir Muhammad has called on Khazanah Nasional Bhd, private firms and other government-owned companies to invest in large scale fruit and vegetable farming to reduce the nation’s food import bill, adding that fruit and vegetable farming had lots of revenue.

Will Khazanah heed the call?

In Jan 2013, Focus Malaysia reported  that Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s venture into agriculture has been less than fruitful. It’s wholly-owned agricul­ture companies had been in the red, but the govern­ment’s investment arm seemed deter­mined to continue operations and turn them around.

The four agriculture companies under Khazanah are fresh vegetables and fruits supplier Malaysian Agrifood Corp Bhd (MAFC), natural health prod­ucts manufacturer Biotropics Malaysia Bhd, shrimp aquaculture company Blue Archipelago Bhd and the now-dormant Langkawi Tuna Corp Bhd.

As at this morning, Focus Malaysia team could not reach out to Khazanah for comment by phone calls.

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