September 4, 2008
Act Quickly to Avoid Future Food Crises
By S.M. Mohamed Idris
THE Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) calls on the government to bring sustainable agriculture into the mainstream.
It is clear that there is a need for a radical overhaul of the agriculture sector for the country to produce the food it needs, in an environmentally-sustainable way, and which does not threaten the agricultural productivity base.
Conventional agriculture, exemplified by the Green Revolution, is based on intensive agrochemical use, and is no longer sustainable.
It is also fossil-fuel intensive due to the dependence on chemical fertilisers.
CAP urges the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry to look at the potential of sustainable agriculture to meet the nation's food security needs.
Evidence shows that sustainable agriculture is productive and can raise farm incomes.
The Third National Agricultural Policy provides a basis for initiatives in sustainable agriculture.
What is needed now is to boost efforts by providing the appropriate policy, research, financing and institutional support for sustainable agriculture.
Until and unless this is done, Malaysia may well face more food crises in the future.
S.M. MOHAMED IDRIS
for Consumers Association of Penang
(c) 2008 New Straits Times. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.