By Syifarida Muhamad Zaki
Photo by Marina Ismail
SERDANG, Sept 30 - Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) with the cooperation of National Council of Professors (MPN) have organized a round-table discussion (RTD) on Utilization of Land in Malaysia.
The RTD programme is aimed at finding amicable solutions to all aspects pertaining to the use of land for agriculture activities, including outlining of policy on land utilization in tandem with consumers’ requirements, enforcement methods and the impact of implementation of such a policy.
MPN Food and Agriculture Cluster head, Prof. Dr. Ghizan Saleh said the RTD programme served as an important channel for the various government agencies as well as the private sector to discuss in-depth the needs for several resolutions to be made as a guide.
“The findings of the resolutions can be made as a guide in formulating policies for the future, suitable with the demand and changes in the life of the global society.
“Our country still has yet to have that policy that emphasizes on the significance in protecting land for agriculture activities from developments such as housing and industrial projects.
“Through this discussion, together, we have reached to a resolution to improve on the laws related to land use and land policy for the use of agriculture and food production.
“Other issues discussed included policy and strategies in land utilization for the agro-food sector and farmings, regulations, improvements towards a sustainable agriculture production and challenges faced in handling indigenous agricultural land,” he said.
UPM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Fauzi Ramlan, meanwhile, said it was important that RTD is held so that the various issues arising relating to the implementation of national land agriculture policy could be thought through together.
He said about 24 per cent of land in the country were those that could be used for agriculture activities, including for the planting of paddy, oil palm, rubber, fruits and vegetables.
‘A wide area of land has been turned into housing and industrial areas. Actually, these lands are fertile and can be used to plant vegetables and other cash crop.
“If agriculture land continues to be converted for housing, industrial and other urbanization projects, the problem of shortage of food supply for our local consumption and export could not be addressed,” he said.
Apart from scope of land use, other topics discussed included issues on the use of peat land for agriculture, deforestation, environmental and air pollution, extinction of the biodiversity, land reclamation and idle land. – UPM.
Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia