Malaysia Seed Industry News

This page features a compilation and selection of Malaysia seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in Malaysia. 

The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.

This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.


Q3 News

Incoming MAFI minister appeals for graduates to get into ag: Aug 29: Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, the incoming Deputy Minister II of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) has appealed to university graduates to consider careers in modern agriculture. Aside from generating income, graduates could also develop the country’s agricultural sector using their knowledge, he said. He went on to encourage young people to cultivate short-term crops on idle lands in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. Full story here,

Relief allocated for restoring kedah croplands destroyed by floods, mud: August 28: Following the inundation and destruction of paddy fields by Gunung Jerai (Mount Jerai) mudflows and flooding on August 18, RM1.1 million in relief funds have been allocated for the restoration of 34 hectares of paddy fields. Immediate aid of RM75 million would be provided for Kedah. Funds will be used to restore paddy fields, repair damaged farm roads, concrete drainage, irrigation supply pipes, and for cleaning and replacing pumps. Agriculture sector losses, including to paddy, livestock and fisheries, was estimated to be RM286,000. Original story here 

Funding for Sarawak crops R&D: August 27: RM 87 million has been allocated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development towards existing and new agricultural development programmes in Sarawak, including for the development of fruit and vegetable cultivation through fertigation and breeding, The program is in support of a goal for the state to be a net food and food product exporter by 2030. An article detailing the plans outlines relevant breeding, crops R&D work carried out at the Debak Station of Green World Genetics in at Simpang Debak. See original story here.  

Non-food agriculturalists to be certified: August  4:   As part of efforts to bolster the agriculture sector, the Malaysian government has targeted a total of 200 non-food crop entrepreneurs who have been registered under the Plant Material Certification Scheme to be certified under the myGAP.TBM programme. The program will benefit farmers agriculturalists in the loriculture industry, ornamental plants and flowers, and  landscape grasses, and thus facilitate access to the international market. Efforts complement news that Malaysia’s agriculture sector contributed 1.1 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of last year. See full details here

Lockdowns, cases persist as national recovery plan rolled out: July 2021: Business and living restrictions persist throughout Malaysia at varying degrees under the banner of the movement control order (MCO). The level of restrictions vary by region and include both the FMCO (Full Movement Control Order) and EMCO (Extended Movement Control Order. At the end of June, the premier had announced conditions to determine whether restrictions could be eased based on a four-phase ‘national recovery’ scheme, one being the most stringent. To enter Phase 2, he said, average daily cases need to be below 4000 and 10% of the population would need to be inoculated with two COVID-19 vaccination doses. According to this plan, the government said it expects for all economic sectors to fully be able to open by the end of Q4. Meanwhile, under the MCO, most economic and social activities are not allowed to operate, while companies in 17 essential sectors (including food and beverage) may operate with approval from the Ministry International Trade and Industry (MITI). Additionally, 13 economic sectors (including food and beverage as well as chemical product operations) are permitted to operate with 60% workforce capacity, also subject to approval from MITI. Non-emergency interstate and interdistrict travel are prohibited, as are face-to-face meetings, seminars, training, exhibitions, talks, and conferences. Likewise, most educational institutions have been closed with some exceptions made for small children whose parents both work in ‘essential services’ sectors. For the latest official updates on the MCO visit the MITI website. Regarding the latest economic impacts in Malaysia, according to an article published by Taylors University, the third and latest MCO may have cost the economy as much as RM200 million daily heading into June. According to one industry representative quoted in the article, 37.7% of SMEs were facing closure if the lockdown persists, “putting at least 2 million people unemployed by the end of the lockdown”. To prevent economic collapse “the government introduced assistance and  economic stimulus packages totalling RM340 billion to aid the nation”. Nonetheless the daily loss is projected to continue to rise. 

Q2 News

Melaka paddy farmers in dire need of flood barrier: May 21: Paddy farmers  in Sungai Paya Luboh are calling on officials to expedite the building of retaining wall / flood barrier to protect their crops following flood damages that caused some ​​52 hectares of paddy fields. Original story here

Rice planting delayed, certified paddy distribution delays: May 3: The Malaysian Paddy Farmers Association (PeSAWAH) claims that almost 10,000 farmers in the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) have not received legal paddy seeds, delaying the start of sowing for the new rice season. The chairman of PeSAWAH, Fuad Yaacob, remarked that while the distribution of seeds had improved in the last month, 30 percent of farmers had still not received seeds with the sowing deadline on April 30. "We are informed that the first phase farmers who have not received the seeds will receive along with the second phase farmers whose planting deadline is May 14". Mr Fuad went on to say the delay in sowing will cause farmers to need to re-plow the land causing increased costs, including renting of machinery and driver's wages, and remarked that he was confident of irregularities in the supply of legal paddy seeds where subsidized seeds were being sold on the commercial market. Original story in Bahasa Malaysia 

Certified paddy seed distribution in Kedah: April 25:  426,118 bags of certified paddy seed were being distributed to farmer around Kedah through 27 Area Farmers Organizations (PPK) and the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) . According to the MADA chairman the seed requirement for the first rice crop this year in Kawasan Muda was 675,906 bags. This would be used for a paddy planting area of ​​96,558 hectares.Original story here

Nuklear Malaysia develops high-yielding rice variety: March 14:  A new “nuclear rice” seed named NMR152, developed by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuklear Malaysia) has great potential to help Malaysia increase local rice productivity. According to the Nuklear Malaysia director-general, quoted in an article, the variety can produce 8 – 10 tonnes of rice per hectare, which is compared to only 2 – 3 tonnes from regular seeds. Moreover, the NMR152 plants are drought and flood tolerant, as well as resistant to rice blast disease and strong winds due to its stem is strong. See original story here.

National farmers organisation to distribute quality paddy seeds at reasonable prices: Mar 9: The National Farmers Organisation (Nafas) will distribute quality paddy seeds at reasonable prices, accorrdinh to Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi, who noted that Nafas was appointed as the sole distributor for the Certified Paddy Seed under an incentive programme. Original story here.

Rice planting delayed, certified paddy distribution delays: May 3: The Malaysian Paddy Farmers Association (PeSAWAH) claims that almost 10,000 farmers in the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) have not received legal paddy seeds, delaying the start of sowing for the new rice season. The chairman of PeSAWAH, Fuad Yaacob, remarked that while the distribution of seeds had improved in the last month, 30 percent of farmers had still not received seeds with the sowing deadline on April 30. "We are informed that the first phase farmers who have not received the seeds will receive along with the second phase farmers whose planting deadline is May 14". Mr Fuad went on to say the delay in sowing will cause farmers to need to re-plow the land causing increased costs, including renting of machinery and driver's wages, and remarked that he was confident of irregularities in the supply of legal paddy seeds where subsidized seeds were being sold on the commercial market. Original story in Bahasa Malaysia 

Certified paddy seed distribution in Kedah: April 25:  426,118 bags of certified paddy seed were being distributed to farmer around Kedah through 27 Area Farmers Organizations (PPK) and the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) . According to the MADA chairman the seed requirement for the first rice crop this year in Kawasan Muda was 675,906 bags. This would be used for a paddy planting area of ​​96,558 hectares.Original story here


Q1 News

Nuklear Malaysia develops high-yielding rice variety: March 14:  A new “nuclear rice” seed named NMR152, developed by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuklear Malaysia) has great potential to help Malaysia increase local rice productivity. According to the Nuklear Malaysia director-general, quoted in an article, the variety can produce 8 – 10 tonnes of rice per hectare, which is compared to only 2 – 3 tonnes from regular seeds. Moreover, the NMR152 plants are drought and flood tolerant, as well as resistant to rice blast disease and strong winds due to its stem is strong. See original story here.

National farmers organisation to distribute quality paddy seeds at reasonable prices: Mar 9: The National Farmers Organisation (Nafas) will distribute quality paddy seeds at reasonable prices, accorrdinh to Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi, who noted that Nafas was appointed as the sole distributor for the Certified Paddy Seed under an incentive programme. Original story here.