KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian farmers can now reap the benefits of globalisation to earn a lot more money, says Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Giving the example of how durians, which used to be sold only locally, now has far greater appeal overseas, Najib said he was also responsible for its export to China.
“I had asked for durians to be approved for export to China when I met their leaders. So now, farmers can sell the fruit at a higher price than they did before,” he said in his speech at the opening of the Farmers and Fishermen’s Day national celebration here today.
“I even met a businessman who told me the demand for Musang King was more than supply.”
It was previously reported that the export of Musang King to China amounted to RM60 million last year and that it is expected to reach RM70 million in 2017.
Najib then advised farmers and fishermen at the event to think global, in order to gain from the expanded reach for their produce.
“We cannot just sell at Pasar Tani which is about 1-2km from our house but instead, we must aspire to sell our produce to the global market.
“Farmers will greatly benefit when they are a part of a global supply chain. That is why we build relations globally. This is what makes agriculture more attractive,” Najib said.
The prime minister also expressed the government’s aim to make agriculture and fishing as wealth creation areas in the nation, with the industry creating many millionaires.
Towards that end, Najib said the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will give farmers and fishermen better market access.
“The efficient transport system will benefit farmers and fishermen and could even eliminate the need for middlemen,” he said, adding that this is something that the opposition have never mentioned.
Meanwhile, Najib also announced a RM7 million allocation by the government for a one-off payment of RM30,000 each to farmers and fishermen associations nationwide.