09/02/2023 07:11 PM

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 9 (Bernama) -- All parties, especially the government, cannot take a relaxed approach in efforts to ensure food security in the country is maintained, said Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

He said measures to ensure food security were crucial to guarantee the country and its people have sufficient food at a reasonable price as the world might face a recession this year.

As such, he said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Unity Government had taken steps involving all ministries to implement suitable plans for maintaining food security, and that even the name of his ministry had been changed to reflect that importance.

“World economic growth this year is expected to be quite slow and the issue of food security is now a hot topic worldwide. Countries like those in Africa are facing food shortages, no money, a failing economy and eventually deaths occur. 

“We cannot relax. As humans blessed with intelligence, we must take that as a challenge as to how we can ensure that food is available in Sabah, Malaysia and the whole world,” he said, here, today.

He said this at the launch of the Agrobank Mobile Banking Services which was also attended by his deputy Chan Foong Hin, Agrobank chairman Datuk Yunos Abd Ghani and Agrobank president Datuk Tengku Ahmad Badli Shah Raja Hussin, who is also the Agrobank chief executive officer.

Mohamad said various efforts needed to be jointly implemented to ensure work to preserve food security and community socio-economic development could be achieved.

“The government, through various ministries, agencies, organisations and the public, needs to join hands to realise this responsibility. The symbiosis and synergy of solid strategic planning need to be adapted in the planning of every government and private entity,” he said.

On the Agrobank Mobile Banking Services, he said two units of the mobile bank would provide mobile banking and financial services to residents around Lahad Datu, Tawau and Beaufort.

“This service is important because the residents need at least one hour and 16 minutes to travel 73.8 kilometres (km) to get to the nearest town to obtain banking access,” he said.

Mohamad said Agrobank had introduced such an initiative in the 1970s when it was known as Bank Pertanian Mobile Banking Services, and he believes that comprehensive financial services are the main pillar to increase the economic growth of the community, especially in rural areas.  




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