PUTRAJAYA: In a bid to reduce prices and cost hikes to curb inflation, the government will review the food supply chain and distribution to find alternative sources of imported food.
Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said it was among the recommendations given by research company Ipsos Sdn Bhd.
Ipsos, he said, also presented its findings on inflation and its effects on the world including Malaysia and made recommendations in food security and spending patterns that can contribute to the national economic recovery.
“Among the recommendations are to review aspects of the food supply chain and distribution, to have an efficient and integrated one-stop centre to reduce the possibility of price hikes, and to look for alternative sources for imported food.“For example, the possibility to import chicken to reduce costs,” he said after chairing the task force’s meeting yesterday, Bernama reported.
Annuar said imported food such as meat, vegetables and fish have increased by 62% and continued dependence on imports using the US dollar will make Malaysia vulnerable.
“Therefore, the move that can be taken is to increase food production in the country and find alternative sources for importing food,” he said.
Meanwhile, Annuar also said the Keluarga Malaysia Cheap Sale Programme (JMKM) has been implemented in 454 state constituencies or 71% of the targeted 639.
The programme is being intensified following encouraging response, he added.
“There is an increase in the programme in several states and efforts need to be intensified.
“This is because some states have been relatively slow in implementing it, such as Penang, Negri Sembilan and parts of Sarawak,” he said.
JMKM, which started in mid-August, gives people access to more affordable goods every week.
Annuar, who is also Communications and Multimedia Minister, said information about JMKM will be increased on local news channels to create greater awareness, especially among the B40 (lower income) group.
He said premises undertaking the programme need to display the labels of essential items clearly.
“All shops must display products according to the standards set by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry. We have chosen a certain logo, captions and colour patterns and these need to be standardised so that JMKM is more effective in terms of branding and marketing,” he said.
Annuar also announced that the cheap sale programme at public higher education institutions or PJMKM@Kampus will be launched on Oct 10 at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
“As soon as the universities reopen on Oct 10 for the new semester, the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry will launch PJMKM@Kampus.
“Simultaneous sales will be held at 20 other campuses with existing cooperatives at the universities that have been identified to implement the programme,” he said.