Malaysia, Saudi Arabia to explore new agricultural research cooperation opportunities, ministry says

KUALA LUMPUR (August 27): Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will explore new opportunities for agricultural research cooperation, including the possibility of exchanging technical experts in the future, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (Mafi).

In a statement released Saturday, August 27, Mafi said this followed his discussion with Saudi Arabia’s National Research and Development Center for Sustainable Agriculture (Estidamah) during the Minister of Agriculture’s three-day official visit. Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee at the Kingdom which ended on Friday.

The discussion revolved around possible technical cooperation and joint agricultural research with the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Tuesday), which will involve not only an exchange of technical experts, but also research and development (R&D).

Other potential cooperations include joint laboratories, modern agriculture and the sharing of technical information and agricultural technologies.

“This will mark the first agricultural research collaboration for Mardi in Saudi Arabia,” the statement said.

Ronald’s official visit was at the invitation of Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al Fadley after the latter’s official visit to Malaysia on July 13.

Mafi said that during Ronald’s courtesy visit to Abdulrahman, various government-to-government strategic efforts were discussed in detail to strengthen the food security agenda in the two countries.

He said the visit was also capable of boosting trade relations between the two countries, as last year alone Malaysia’s exports of commodities and agricultural products to Saudi Arabia amounted to 2.4 billion. RM, while imports amounted to RM100 million.

The ministry said a meeting was also held with the Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Corporation (SALIC) and the Saudi Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), each of which opened new opportunities to explore possible collaboration for mutual benefit.

Several rounds of discussions have also taken place, including with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) to increase market access for Malaysian agri-food products in Saudi Arabia.

“The close cooperation established through the bilateral meetings should continue to contribute to increased bilateral trade and cooperation with the aim of strengthening the national food security agenda.

“It is also in line with the government’s commitment, particularly in efforts to ensure a more inclusive food security ecosystem through comprehensive strategic collaboration to diversify food sources and supply chains for the benefit of the sustainability of the country’s agribusiness,” he said.

Lana T. Arthur