Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Study needed on food stamps

PUTRAJAYA: The food stamp programme needs further study to ensure that it is an effective way to help the poor and the lower-income groups,Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
He added that an in-depth study would enable the programme to meet its objective.
“We want to have the best approach to counter the rising cost of living.
“If we want to introduce the programme, a more in-depth study is needed because it is targeted at those earning RM3,000 and below.
Wide array: Muhyiddin being briefed by Dr Rajen (right) and Prof Omar on Holista Colltech’s products in Putrajaya Thursday. — Bernama
“We need to see how this programme can benefit them as they are the biggest group in the country,” he said after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet committee on supply and prices here yesterday.

Muhyiddin had suggested in July that a food stamp programme similar to the one in the United States could be adopted to cushion the impact of soaring food prices.
Food stamp recipients in the US are given an account and a plastic card, known as the Electronic Benefit Transfer Card, to buy bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products.
On another matter, Muhyiddin also said the committee had agreed to turn the weekend pasar tani into a permanent market.
“The pasar tani brings huge benefits to consumers and farmers. Having it on a permanent basis would surely help the people,” he said.
He added that Fama and the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority had also been directed to be more active in the food distribution chain to ensure consumers derived maximum benefit.
Later, Muhyiddin witnessed a sponsorship presentation ceremony by Holista Colltech, an Australian Stock Exchange-listed company, and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for the latter to produce the world's first halal enzyme production process.
USM will be the first university in the world to receive a share option worth RM300,000 from the firm for research and development.
The ceremony was attended by Holista Colltech chief executive officer Datuk Dr Rajen M. and USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Omar Osman
Dr Rajen said Holista Colltech hoped to come up with an innovative process to enable plant-based enzymes to produce collagen and halal gelatine.