By Veena Babulal – July 2, 2022 @ 5:49pm
KUALA LUMPUR: The government will allocate RM100 million from Bank Negara Malaysia’s Agrofood (funding) Facility to the Malaysia Co-operative Societies Commission (MCSC) to raise food production and help reduce the rising prices of goods.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government also agreed for cooperatives to be allocated quotas for the recruitment of migrant workers so plantation related affairs can continue smoothly.
“The Human Resources Ministry will facilitate this manually if there are issues with the Foreign Workers’ Centralised Management System,” he said during the opening of the cooperatives month celebration here today.
Ismail Sabri said the government also supported the setting up of Koperasi Rakyat BR 2.0 Malaysia Berhad or BR 2.0, which is an entity under the Cooperatives Act of 1993, which is also supervised by the MCSC.
He said BR 2.0 is expected to play a bigger role in helping to develop the cooperative sector as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (PMKS) and further contribute to the country’s economic development.
Ismail Sabri said the establishment of BR 2.0 also allows Malaysian Families to invest and own shares in cooperatives such as Bank Rakyat with good return expectations.
“A special allocation of RM10 million will go to the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry to fund strategic collaborations with associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for the organisation of exhibitions and expos.”
He said as members of cooperatives made up 7.1 million people or 20 per cent of the population, they had the collective power to influence food prices.
Ismail Sabri also said the movement could affect the price of goods in the market as owners of cooperatives were also consumers.
He also expressed confidence that cooperatives would play a greater role in assisting the Bottom 40 income group to address rising living costs, which was Malaysia’s greatest post-pandemic challenge, exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war.
He also said the business model of cooperatives was created to shorten the food supply chain and reduce the involvement of middlemen to stabilise the price of goods in the market.
“It’s time for cooperatives to answer our call to wage jihad against middlemen by playing a more significant role in the empowerment of the national food security agenda.”
He said that in the United Kingdom, Co-op Group UK which dominated the market for food, made RM42 billion in sales in 2021. This was an RM922 million uptick in sales compared to pre-pandemic times.
There are currently 14,834 registered cooperatives in Malaysia with 7.1 million members.
It has a total RM16.5 billion in share capital and accumulated fees, RM155 billion in assets and a turnover which reaches RM37.9 billion.
Read this news at https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2022/07/810202/funding-cooperatives-help-enhance-food-production-reduce-rising-prices.