Malaysia National Agro-Food Policy

  • General Information

Until year 2010, the development for agricultural and forestry was under the directive of the Third National Agricultural policy (NAP3). Subsequently, NAP3 focuses on enhancing food security, increasing the productivity and competitiveness, deepening linkages with other sectors, venturing into new frontier areas as well as conserving and utilizing natural resources on a sustainable basis [1].  However, because of the increase in food demands of a high-income population, it leads to an increase in the price of food. Consumers have higher expectations as they are more health-conscious and highly concerned about what and how the food is produced [2]. In addition, the development of high value-added natural resources products including the development of traditional and complementary medicines (T&CM) is still limited and the exports consist of primary and intermediate products only [1].  Changes in the local economy have brought forth new issues and challenges towards the agricultural sector which include acute labour shortage, limited availability of suitable land and increasing cost of production both in local and also the global market [1]. Hence, the agricultural sector requires to become more innovative and efficient in managing their natural resources as to enhance the economic contributions and growth of the agricultural sector.

Therefore, the 10-year National Agro-Food Policy has been developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Malaysia which was approved by the Malaysian Cabinet on 28 September 2011, to replace the NAP3 [3]. This policy covers the period between 2011 and 2020; and mainly addresses the issue of food supply in Malaysia based on consumer’s need for quality, safety, nutrition, functionality and environmental sustainability [3][4]. This policy also targets to make agro-food industry as a competitive and sustainable industry; and to increase agro-based entrepreneur’s level of income [5]. The abundance of crop diversity in Malaysia provides opportunity for the development of an improved nutrition and better health food products, which in turn provide more choices for the consumers especially towards the local products [4].

The aims of the policy follow the strategic directions as below:

  1. Ensure national food security
  2. Increase the contribution of agro-food industry
  3. Completing the value-chain
  4. Empowering human capital
  5. Creating the environment for private sectors-led business
  6. Strengthen the activities of R&D, innovation and the use of technology
  7. Strengthening the delivery system [4][5]

This policy encourages the exploration of the potentials of high value agricultural products such as herbs and spices for nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals & phytomedicines applications, seaweeds for pharmaceuticals and biomaterials usage, and edible bird’s nests for high-value food and health supplements. The development of high value agriculture initiatives hopes to create the next generation of agribusiness entrepreneurs to tap into the vast business markets, and this transformation may attract more investments from local and global markets [5]. Subsequently, the income of agribusiness entrepreneurs will increase and the natural resources would be fully utilized.

  • Contact Details 

Ministry of Agriculture & Agro-Based Industry Malaysia
Blok 4G1 Wisma Tani, No.28 Persiaran Perdana,
Presint 4, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62624 Putrajaya,
Tel: +603-88701000
Fax: +603-88886906


  1. Third National Agricultural Policy (1998-2010). Last accessed on 22 Jan 2013 at
  2. Southeast Asian Council for Food Security & Fair Trade. Malaysia towards New National Agricultural Policy. Last accessed on 22 Jan 2013 at
  3. MARDI. National agro-food policy. Last accessed on 22 Jan 2013 at
  4. Akademi Sains Malaysia. Last accessed on 22 Jan 2013 at
  5. Ministry of Agriculture & Agro-Based Industry Malaysia. Dasar Agromakanan Negara 2010-2020 (DAN). Last accessed on 22 Jan 2013 at