Find Agriculture expertise in Malaysia
Agriculture, together with forestry and fisheries, contributes 10% to Malaysia’s GDP (2010). Around 24% of the country’s total land area is given over to agricultural use (2009). The significance of the agriculture sector within the economy has declined over some years, but it continues to be an important contributor. This is despite the problems that have been faced with thin soils and frequent flooding. In fact, the agriculture industry in general has seen a great improvement in productivity, including the quality of planting material, processing methods and marketing strategies. The main agricultural products are palm oil, rubber, timber, cocoa, rice and coconut. Production is split into two sub-sectors: estate and smallholders. The former is a large-scale, commercial style of farming; whilst the latter is more oriented towards food and based in smallholdings. Cash crop plantations take up much of the agricultural land, in particular oil palm and rubber, with tree crops accounting for 17% of the country’s land area. Around 14% of the population are engaged in agricultural employment (2009).
The main food crop is rice, much of which is grown in the upland areas and domestic production meets roughly 80% of demand. Palm oil is a thriving aspect of the commercial sector, with plantations, largely on the Malay Peninsula, producing over half the world’s supply. In 2010 the export generated US$12,400,052,000. The country is also the leading supplier of natural rubber on the global market, of which the majority, around 80%, is produced by smallholders. Due to a drop in prices and export in recent years, the government has encouraged and supported these smallholders to diversify into other crops. The export industry has strong markets in China, the United States, Singapore and Thailand. The Ministry of Agriculture is the public body responsible for providing advisory and consultancy services for entrepreneurs and investors who intend to venture into agriculture-based business.
The well developed nature of the agriculture sector in Malaysia was reflected in its placement in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13). Malaysia was ranked highly at 4th in the world (out of 144 countries) in terms of its balanced agricultural policy costs, with a score of 5.1 out of 7, compared to the world mean of 3.9. This position found the country directly below neighbouring Singapore, with a value of 5.1.
The state is keen to encourage the development of structured agriculture in rural eastern Malaysia. There is a great deal of agricultural potential there for large scale land development for commercial farming, which includes consolidating fragmented farm holdings to form miniature estates. Bodies such as the Sarawak Land Development Board have invested in developing what they see as under-utilised land for oil palm, rubber, cocoa and tea.
|Agriculture organisations in Malaysia|
|Ministry of Agriculture & Agro-Based Industry||