YB Fahmi Bin Zainol

State EXCO for Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development


Dato’ Loo Lee Lian

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of InvestPenang


Mr. Muhammad Ghaddaffi Sardar Mohamed

Director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Penang


Ms. Saudah Mat Isa

Director of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Penang


Representatives from the supporting partners,

Distinguished speakers,

Members of the business community,

Ladies & gentlemen,

Good morning to all of you.

I am delighted to be here today for this conference, organized by InvestPenang and supported by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Human Resource Development Corporation (HRD Corp), and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). The theme of today’s seminar, "Smart Agriculture & Food Manufacturing: Cultivating a Sustainable Future Conference," addresses a timely and critical topic essential for shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for Penang.

As Malaysia’s second smallest state, endowed with limited land and natural resources, yet home to a population of 1.8 million people, it is imperative for us to explore new methods and innovations to ensure food security within our borders. In the face of global climate unpredictability and potential disruptions to food supply chains, it is proactive to explore, innovate, and implement ideas within our smart agriculture and food manufacturing sectors to meet the expanding global food demand.

Today, our esteemed speakers and panellists will share the latest technology and innovation that I believe our smart agriculture and food manufacturing industry players should explore further. One of the many examples would be the application of digitalization, for instance the Internet of Things (IoT), LED technology, and automation in farming and food production. With these technologies in place, we can boost productivity and ultimately, increase food production and ensure food security within the State.

Ladies & gentlemen,

The Malaysian government introduced the National Agrofood Policy 2021-2030 (NAP 2.0) with the aim of transforming the agro-food industry into a competitive, sustainable, and high-technology sector to boost economic growth.

In Penang, the agricultural industry spans three subsectors, namely livestock farming, fishery, and crop farming, collectively contributing to Penang's reputation as a "food haven" through diverse local produce. Despite occupying over a third of Penang's total land area, the agricultural sector's contribution to the GDP stands at a mere 2%, indicating significant potential for growth.

Moreover, the food-processing industry is recognised as one of the promoted sectors in the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030). While Penang is renowned for its manufacturing and electrical and electronics (E&E) sector, we are also witnessing the emergence of agritech and food manufacturing industries.

I am highly optimistic about Penang's ability to position itself as a high-tech Green Valley by promoting urban farming, leveraging technology, and advancing the agriculture and food manufacturing value chain.

In Penang's 2024 budget, RM6.93 million has been allocated to support the State’s Agriculture Department. Additionally, the Department of Veterinary Services Penang has been granted RM4.6 million to strengthen the livestock and food industry. I trust that these budget allocations will foster sustainable development and enhance the food security in Penang.

In terms of investment performance, I am pleased to share that Penang has garnered RM1.1 billion of approved investment in Food Manufacturing from 2014 to September 2023. Therefore, the food manufacturing sector in the state plays a pivotal role not only for food production, but also the growth of Penang’s economy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Comprehending that Penang is not immune to the escalating threat of rising food insecurity, I would like to urge all industry stakeholders to work together and embrace the innovations in agricultural and food production technologies to propel our local agritech industry forward. It is imperative for industry leaders to stay abreast of the latest technologies, as they are integral to sustaining productivity and securing a better future for all.

On this note, I am proud to announce the launch of the Penang Food / Agri Tech Industry Council, with InvestPenang as the Project Manager and chaired by Dato’ Loo Lee Lian, CEO of InvestPenang. This council comprises industry leaders from FoodTech and Agri-Tech companies, including Federal Oat Mills, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Ghee Hiang, Syarikat Kilang Rempa Jaya Sakti, Tropical Consolidated, Enza Zaden, Golden Fresh, Produk Makanan Enak Gembira, and ViTrox Agritech.

Through the establishment of this new council, we aim to promote more synergies between industrial players and government agencies to introduce more initiatives that can further advance smart agriculture and food manufacturing industries, and cultivate a sustainable food system within the state, in line with our Penang2030 vision of ‘A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.

In closing, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our distinguished speakers who will be sharing their insights for this event. The State Government, through InvestPenang, is committed to work hand-in-hand with federal agencies such as MIDA and MDEC, as well as all our industry players, to accelerate the Food-Tech and Agri-Tech industries in Penang to greater heights. 

With that, thank you and I wish you all a pleasant and productive event.

Pejabat Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Tingkat 28, KOMTAR, 10502, George Town, Pulau Pinang