II. NATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
The Ministry of Primary Industries oversees the development of the primary commodity sector, covering research and development, production, processing and marketing for timber, palm oil, rubber, cocoa, pepper, pineapple, tobacco, tin, copper and other minerals. The policies and programmes of the ministry are to foster the orderly development of the commodity sectors, achieve higher value-added through downstream processing and promote the marketing of those commodities, particularly semi-processed and processed products.
The Ministry of Primary Industries was established in 1972 through the amalgamation of the Export Commodities Division of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and several units from the Ministry of Agriculture and Land. Its role was to establish an integrated approach to the development of the primary commodities sector; it played an important role in the national economy in the 1970s by contributing some 70 per cent of total export earnings.
The Ministry of Primary Industries, which started off with two commodities under its responsibility (i.e., rubber and tin), has since expanded its role to include the development of other commodities in line with the agricultural diversification policy. With the implementation of the Industrial Master Plan (IMP), the Ministry of Primary Industries has been promoting the development of higher value-added resource based industries, i.e. processed and semi-processed products, in order to maximize export earnings and make a socio-economic contribution to the country.
The Ministry's mission is "to establish and enhance Malaysia's competitive advantage in a globalized market for selected commodities produced as well as their value-added products, and to promote specific commodities considered economically and socially strategic in our national development". The objectives of the Ministry are:
The functions carried out by the divisions in the ministry include, inter alia:
Departments, statutory bodies and a corporation
In ensuring that the programmes and approaches in the commodity sector are effectively implemented, in order to attain higher efficiency and productivity, the Ministry of Primary Industries is supported by various departments and statutory bodies under its purview as well as through cooperation with other ministries, departments and relevant private sector organizations, in line with the concept of Malaysia Incorporated. There are three departments, 11 statutory bodies and a corporation directly under the Ministry of Primary Industries.