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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Local farmers will suffer most from doing away with APs


Forum Kedaulatan Makanan Malaysia says dependence on food imports will gradually put local farmers out of business.

PETALING JAYA: The government’s decision to do away with approved permits (AP) to import food could potentially force local farmers out of business, says a food security group.

Forum Kedaulatan Makanan Malaysia chief coordinator Nurfitri Amir Muhammad said while it was understood that the abolition of the AP requirement was necessary to prevent monopolisation in the industry, it could have severe long-term implications on local farmers.

“Local farmers lose out because imported goods tend to be cheaper,” Utusan Malaysia quoted him as saying.

“I am more concerned about the long-term repercussions because once the crisis of rising food prices is over, and all the local farmers are out of business, what will be left?”

Yesterday, the government announced AP requirements to import food would no longer be in place, effective immediately.

According to Bernama, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this meant that the importation of food was now open to all to ensure an adequate supply of food in the country.

Commenting on this, Amir said the country could not continue depending on imports as it would gradually put local farmers out of business.

“The issue that often arises is that local farmers are unable to sell their produce because of the high number of imports, as seen with chili and pepper farmers,” he said.

Amir warned the government that, in the event there were no longer any local farmers, the country would be forced to depend on imports in the long term.

He questioned how the quality of imported foodstuff would be monitored with the doing away of the AP requirements.

He urged the government to give thorough consideration to any decisions it makes to address rising food prices and supply shortages, adding that doing away with APs was the “easy way out”. - FMT

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