A global economic meltdown should not stifle measures to enhance our agriculture sector, said the Prime Minister.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said efforts to improve people’s lives by developing the agriculture sector would assist the country cushion the impact of an economic downturn.
He said the National Economic Council had already identified agriculture as one of the primary sectors that should be developed further for the national economy.
In fact, he said, Malaysia’s efforts in agriculture had made it well-placed to weather the crisis, as acknowledged by, among others, the international advisory panel on biotechnology.
Abdullah said the panel members recently told him that Malaysia’s incorporation of information and communication technology (ICT) and biotechnology would be the catalyst to national development, especially in agriculture.
“This is more important as the world faces a food crisis,” he said at a gathering with farmers at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang near here yesterday.
Abdullah said that when he became Prime Minister, he wanted a renewed focus on the sector and to take advantage of its huge potential by value-adding.
“I did not want agriculture to continue to be seen as backward, without potential for development and as a last option for those who cannot get any other jobs,” he said.
He said the confidence in the sector as the third driver of the national economy was not a foolish dream but based on its real potential.