IPOH: Innovative measures must be explored to ensure food security, improve food distribution, minimise waste, and ensure people have easy access to fresh and nutritious food, said the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah.

His Royal Highness said ensuring food security is not only about preventing people from going hungry but also about ensuring that every family has access to safe and nutritious food.

“Malnutrition contributes to the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

“Innovative measures need to be explored to improve food distribution, minimise waste, and ensure people have easy access to fresh and nutritious food,” said Sultan Nazrin when opening the second meeting of the 15th Perak State Legislative Assembly here today.

His Royal Highness said people should be encouraged to take the lead in the success of environmental initiatives, with schools, mosques, and youth organisations playing a pivotal role in educating students and the young generation about the importance of public participation in food production.

Sultan Nazrin said it’s crucial to instil interest and provide knowledge to youths, students, and mosque congregants on cultivating the earth with food crops.

The act of producing food is not only a means of sustenance but also an act of worship, an obligation to fulfil the principle of communal responsibility (fardu kifayah) to ensure the survival and well-being of the community,

The state government, he said, is continually striving to increase food production.

“In 2023, the production of vegetable commodities increased by three per cent (from 116,764 metric tons in 2022 to 120,121 metric tons in 2023); cash crop commodities increased by 11.7 per cent (from 79,518 metric tons in 2022 to 88,807 metric tons in 2023); the state’s self-sufficiency rate for rice stood at 98 per cent (rice production increased from 269,790 metric tons in 2022 to 272,764 metric tons in 2023),” said His Royal Highness.

The Sultan said Perak is the leading producer in the country of sweet corn, sweet potatoes, jicama, mango, and okra.

The livestock sector also plays a vital role in supplying protein-based food sources, said His Royal Highness, adding that Perakis a significant contributor to the country’s livestock-based food supply, particularly chicken meat and eggs.

“There are 315 broiler chicken farms with a combined capacity of 26.36 million birds, producing 322,612 metric tons of chicken—surpassing the domestic demand of 130,848 metric tons.

“Additionally, there are 21 chicken farms with a capacity of 11.3 million birds, producing 2.1 billion eggs annually—exceeding the domestic demand of one billion eggs per year,” said His Royal Highness.

“The dairy cattle industry in Perak produces 6.918 million litres of fresh milk annually, surpassing the demand of 5.724 million litres,” said the Sultan, adding that Perak’s blessings include its 398-kilometre coastline and 32 islands, which contribute to its highest fish-producing-status in Malaysia, with three hundred thousand metric tons of fish landing annually.-Bernama

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