REVISIT FOOD SECURITY IN MALAYSIA (PART 1)
FOOD SECURITY exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life as defined by World Food Summit, 1996). It consists of component such as Food availability: The availability of sufficient quantities of food of appropriate quality, supplied through domestic production or imports (including food aid). Food access: Access by individuals to adequate resources (entitlements) for acquiring appropriate foods for a nutritious diet. Entitlements are defined as the set of all commodity bundles over which a person can establish command given the legal, political, economic and social arrangements of the community in which they live (including traditional rights such as access to common resources). Food Utilization: Utilization of food through adequate diet, clean water, sanitation and health care to reach a state of nutritional well-being where all physiological needs are met. This brings out the importance of non-food inputs in food security. Food Stability: To be food secure, a population, household or individual must have access to adequate food at all times. They should not risk losing access to food as a consequence of sudden shocks (e.g. an economic or climatic crisis) or cyclical events (e.g. seasonal food insecurity). The concept of stability can therefore refer to both the availability and access dimensions of food security. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to rewrite about food security in Malaysia revisited.
As history shows that Malaysia has never been short of policies related to agriculture or food. Ironically, policy abundance has proven insufficient to ensure food security. Past policies have proven inconsistent in terms of self-sufficiency targets and many major food items still rely on import supplementations. Food items with 100 per cent or more self-sufficiency levels still rely on significant external inputs. Policy commitment and implementation remain a central issue, underlined by structural, economic, and governance weaknesses. The first to the Third National Agricultural Policy spanning the 1980s to 2010 focused on addressing rural poverty and bridging the economic gap between small-scale and large-scale farmers, increasing sustainable food production and competitiveness. According to the Economic Planning Unit under the Prime Minister's department, the National Agrofood Policy 2011-2020 (NAP 1.0) was supposed to address food security and safety to ensure availability, affordability and accessibility, ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of the agrofood industry, and increase the income level of agropreneurs. In general, investigating Malaysia's current status points to the failure of a decade-worth of NAP 1.0 in key dimensions of food security.
A closer look into a well-known global index on food security informs us of Malaysia's worrying food security status despite mouthful policy objectives that seemingly encapsulate everything. Global geopolitical events of the last two years also revealed the substance of these policies resulting in Malaysia's food insecurities. Looking at historical figures for Malaysia's scores on the four dimensions of food security used in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2021 - Affordability, Availability, Quality & Safety and Natural Resources and Resilience - it may seem that our relative ranking or score in certain dimensions such as affordability and quality and safety aren't that bad, especially when compared with other countries that are performing poorly as well. However, we have to investigate deeper, to see if these scores and relative comparisons adequately represent the actual situation on the ground. The availability and natural resource resilience dimensions suffered greatly over the past decade. Malaysia dipped well-below global average in the middle of the last decade and remained below (and getting worse) in the natural resource resilience dimension. In the GFSI-2020 indicators, we observe a negative difference with the high-performing countries in the Asia-Pacific region as a group. Although Malaysia appears on a par with the top-performing countries on the affordability dimension, comparing Malaysia's score with the median score for high-performing countries in GFSI 2020 and 2021 reveals that the country's market access and agricultural financial services are significantly lagging. Malaysia scored low on the availability of diversified financial products for all farmers (including small-holders) and access to market data and mobile banking which has been on a declining trend since 2016. Additionally, the availability dimension tops the list of problematic areas for Malaysia. The remarkable difference is Malaysia's low score on the indicator of food security and access policy commitments in GFSI 2020. This article divided in 4 segmen that is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 respectively. Thanks...
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