Malaysia has a population of around 30 million people. The agriculture and food sector in Malaysia accounts for 15-20% of gross national income.
It employs almost 40% of the country’s working population, and agricultural and food trade generates up to 10-15% of national exports.
Agricultural production focuses on the following food crops: rice, coconut, banana and brassica.
12-24% of the food energy consumed in Malaysia comes from crops that are not native to the region. Most of these plants’ diversity is found elsewhere around the planet. There are 85,431 crop varieties in collections of crop diversity found in Malaysia compared to the more than 700,000 found in international collections of crop diversity supported by the Crop Trust.
Malaysia acceded into the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2003, joining 132 other contracting parties in commitment to a global system.