KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) is intensifying efforts to improve the country’s 41st ranking in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2022.

The ministry’s policy and strategic planning division senior principal assistant secretary Syukrie Mohd Nasir said Malaysia, which achieved a moderate performance with a score of 69.9, saw a decline 1.6 points from the previous year.

“Firstly, we are developing specific Action Plans through the National Agrofood Policy 2021-2030 (DAN 2.0) and another Food Security Action Plan.

“We are also increasing the cross-agency coordination on data sharing, and thirdly, we are engaging with the various organisations that serve as reference sources.

“This includes the Statistics Department, Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, Health Ministry, and the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry,“ he said in a keynote speech at the Bursa-HLIB Stratum Focus Series XV (15th) here, today.

Besides that, Syukrie said that the ministry is also enhancing access to food resources through the empowerment of marketing activities such as Madani Agro Sales to all segments of the society.

He said that, as the increasing food prices continue to pose challenges to the country and the world, the ministry plans to develop a seed hub centre and have more seed varieties through its research and development activities, especially for paddy and rice, which are mostly imported currently.

He added that there is also a need for the ministry to produce a good and conducive investment policy and forge strategic partnerships with various parties including government-linked companies at the federal and state levels, while also focusing on modernising the agrifood sector with automation, mechanisation and technology.

“We need to have a good baseline data. Currently, we are also doing a study with the World Bank on digitalisation in Malaysia to examine the latest state of technology adoption for the sector.

“At the moment, the adoption level only stands at 0.4 per cent,“ said Syukrie. -Bernama