PUTRAJAYA: The first four members of the National Agriculture Advisory Council, who will help the Government raise the level of national food security and agricultural exports, were named Tuesday (June 5).
They are Dagang NeXchange Bhd chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat, Leong Hup International Sdn Bhd executive director Tan Sri Francis Lau Tuang Nguang, Universiti Putra Malaysia Institute of Agriculture and Food Policy Studies director Datin Paduka Dr Fatimah Mohd Arshad and entrepreneur Mohd Najib Asaddok.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub, who announced the names during a press conference at his Ministry here Tuesday, said their involvement was expected to contribute substantially to the ministry and to achieve the objectives set out.
"The selection of these figures is appropriate in making recommendations to the Ministry as the country still has a national food safety level that is dependent on imports and on boosting agricultural exports," he said.
Salahuddin said the council in the early stages would meet every two weeks chaired by Abdul Rahman and they were given the freedom to give insights into the future of the country's agriculture.
He said one of his ministry's deputy secretary-general will sit on the council to serve as a facilitator, especially on matters pertaining to bureaucracy and administration.
On the Hari Raya celebration, Salahuddin said his Ministry would continue to play a role in ensuring all agricultural supplies were sufficient for the celebration.
"As there is no Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) yet, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has assigned both the KPDNKK's secretary general and my ministry's secretary-general to carry out the duties of enforcing price controls," he said.
On the proposal to revoke Padi Beras Nasional Bhd's (BERNAS) concession as the sole importer of rice, Salahuddin said he had instructed the ministry's secretary-general to make a proposal on it.
"We will also ask an advisory body consisting of authoritative figures to make a proposal to do away with this monopoly and then it will be combined with the ministry's proposal paper for the preparation of the Cabinet papers to be brought to the Cabinet meeting for approval," he said. – Bernama