Sabah wants to manage own food stockpile during Covid-19 crisis

Sabah says it wants to ensure continuous supply of produce and meat for the people.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has asked Putrajaya to allow it to manage its own food stockpile during the Covid-19 crisis.

Sabah Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Junz Wong said the state had experienced delays in procuring “essentials” as they were held up in Peninsular Malaysia.

“In times of crisis like this, Putrajaya needs to delegate to Sabah as we can better manage ourselves. I have relayed this to the federal Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Ronald Kiandee and he will consider it.

“I see a need for Sabah to manage its own stockpile of essentials like rice, fertilisers and animal feed, especially during the movement control order period.

“These essentials are vital to ensure continuous production of vegetables and meat supplies,” he said after a teleconference with Kiandee here today.

Wong also asked the federal government to allow the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) to resume its pasar tani (farmers’ market) in the state during the MCO period.

“In districts like Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Keningau, Ranau, Tuaran, Putatan, Tenom and Kota Marudu, the pasar tani functions as a centre for produce to be sold by farmers and purchased by consumers,” he said.

He also said both he and Kiandee agreed that traditional fishermen should be allowed to resume their work, adding that Kiandee would talk to the National Security Council to allow them to fish while the MCO was in effect.