KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants Felcra Berhad to formulate Transformation 3.0 to help the government in food security and reduce dependency on imports.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Minister of Rural and Regional Development, said the transformation plan should be formulated as soon as possible with three main elements covering social responsibility, commercial value, and helping to achieve food security.
“Come and see me so that I can be a facilitator to empower the programmes that will be formulated.
“We have at least four years to translate the implementation of this transformation which we focus on food sufficiency and production,” he said at a press conference here today.
Earlier, he was given a briefing by the Felcra Berhad chief executive officer, Datuk Mat Roni Zakaria, who, among other things touched on the implementation of Felcra’s Transformation 1.0 and 2.0, in addition to the business model and the main issues faced by the agency.
Ahmad Zahid said Felcra, as an agency established in 1966 to assist its 100,000 participants, has great potential in assisting the government to reduce food imports with more than 200,000 hectares of land that can be optimised in various sectors.
“I am of the view that the government should be assisted so that large food imports should be replaced by food production from Felcra and other agencies. It is time to reduce imports, to reduce foreign exchange,” he said.
Hence, Ahmad Zahid said Felcra should also be bolder in implementing its own programmes without depending on the injection of government funds, and he expressed confidence that the agency can do it in the near future.
He added that Felcra should learn from the experience of a government-linked company (GLC) listed on Bursa Malaysia, but ended up facing a big problem.
“Felcra can do so much more, but learn from that company’s mistakes. Felcra should be transparent, distribute profits to the participants and help cooperatives, so that leakage does not occur,” he said.