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Asian Pacific Report

Jun 17, 2022

By Neelam Rahim

How do export bans on chicken, wheat, and sugar from Malaysia to India affect Asia?

The recent moves by Asian governments to save their food supplies have already inflated food prices soared across the region amid the Ukraine war. While protectionism lowers the threat of civil unrest, analysts say it may be ineffective in keeping costs of food staples low and could even hurt producers as buyers diversify.

Radio Islam discusses with Senusha Naidoo. “

Sanusha says, “It’s becoming quite a serious situation. People are beginning to ban these exports because of food shortages. More importantly, I think it’s the question of basic commodities going into a rationing formation. Countries in South East Asia like India situated in South Asia have been banning the export of their wheat which now creates a knock-on in terms of global food production but also in terms of global food access. This is going to result in increases in food security, food rations, more impact on malnutrition and also younger children will not be able to find access to food by their parents. What has happened in the context of the war in Ukraine but also in terms of the rise in the cost of oil is that we are now beginning to see countries become more food sovereign in terms of what they want import and export.” 

Malaysia loses billions in sales as firms turn down orders due to migrant labour shortages.

“In terms of migrant labour in the last several months, the sense going on in Malaysia is that migrant’s labour shortages are that they do not have requisite workers. Who is able to pan out production, and this is partly due to the freezing of labour from other countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that when Covid-19 peaked in Malaysia there has been a significant return of people back to their homes. Coming back into the country as migrant labour has become a difficult task,” says Senusha.

The Thai Government has legalised the marijuana trade in an attempt to boost the country’s tourism and agricultural sectors. Will this work?

Senusha says, “The point about this story and the either is that at times of uncertainty, there’s an understanding that we need to move to those sectors that will actually be critical for us. The cannabis industry is becoming quite an interesting industry in the sense that this industry can act as a growth point for us to look at the economy.”

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