KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Rural Development Minister Mahdzir Khalid announced an allocation of RM368 million (S$115 million) to government-owned Felcra Bhd on Friday (May 27), in a bid to strengthen the country's food security at all levels of the food chain, reported Bernama.
Felcra Bhd is a rural-plantation and food-production company, operating palm oil estates and palm processing mills, paddy and rubber plantations, along with fertiliser plants.
The company was formerly a government agency called the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra). The company is wholly owned by Minister of Finance Inc.
Datuk Seri Mahdzir said RM339 million would be used to improve infrastructure, cover the costs of raw materials and upgrade technology while the rest would be used for internal spending.
He added that an additional RM60 million from the 12th Malaysia Plan and Rolling Plan 2022 would be used to expand the capacity of the livestock feed processing plant in Rompin, Pahang.
Mr Mahdzir said the project was to optimise the basic ingredients for local feed and develop concentrate and silage factories to fulfil the requirements of a full value chain.
"The project has been implemented and is underway. This initiative is one of the measures to address the rising cost of livestock, so Felcra took this approach to boost production of livestock feed," he told a press conference at the Felcra Mesra Aidilfitri ceremony at Wisma Felcra.
Earlier this week, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced a ban on chicken exports to stabilise domestic prices and supplies.
One of the complaints poultry farmers have surfaced regarding rising prices is the increasingly expensive feed, partially exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, a major exporter of grain-based feed.
Mr Mahdzir said Felcra Processing Engineering was also improving the operation of its factory to increase the production of Suri brand palm oil-based coconut milk substitutes from 30 tonnes to 60 tonnes per month to meet domestic needs.
"So far, Felcra has two palm oil milk production factories, one in Terengganu and the other in Perak," he said.