Overview of the Malaysian Agriculture Sector, 2010 to 2018.

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The agriculture sector in Malaysia covers the farming or harvesting of vegetal and animal natural resources, comprising the activities of growing crops, raising and breeding of animals, harvesting of timber and other plants, animals or animal products from a farm or their natural habitats, and hunting and related service activities.

In 2017, the Gross Domestic Product at factor cost (“GDP”) of the agriculture sector was valued at MYR95.9 billion (constant 2010 prices). The agriculture sector contributed 8.3% to Malaysia’s GDP of MYR1,156.7 billion in 2017. Between 2010 and 2017, the GDP of the Malaysian agriculture sector registered a 2.2% average year-on-year growth rate. Compared to the other primary sectors—services, construction, manufacturing, mining and quarrying—the Malaysian agriculture sector was one of the slowest growing sectors from 2010 to 2017.

The agriculture sector in Malaysia is diverse in its economic activities. Broadly, it can be categorized into the following subsectors.

  • Rubber.
  • Palm oil.
  • Livestock
  • Other agriculture.
  • Forestry and logging.
  • Fishing.
  • Aquaculture.

In 2017, the agriculture of palm oil contributed 46.6% (or MYR44.7 billion) to the GDP of the Malaysian agriculture sector, the largest among all subsectors, followed by other agriculture (18.6% or MYR17.8 billion) and livestock (11.4% or MYR11.0 billion). In terms of growth rate, the livestock subsector grew the fastest between 2010 and 2017 with an average year-on-year growth of 6.7%, followed by other agriculture at 5.7%. Conversely, the forestry and logging subsector and the rubber subsector experienced a decline between 2010 and 2017, with an average year-on-year growth of -6.1% and -2.8% respectively.

In 2017, there were an estimated 12,500 establishments within the Malaysian agriculture sector, employing approximately 1.6 million people across all occupation levels. The mean and median salaries of employed persons within the Malaysian agriculture sector in 2017 across all occupation levels were estimated to be about MYR1,500 and MYR1,400 per month respectively.

The agriculture sector in Malaysia rebounded strongly in 2017 compared to previous years. Between 2010 and 2017, the average year-on-year GDP growth rate of the Malaysian agriculture sector stayed below 2.2% (2010—2017) before rising to 7.2% from 2016—2017. Based on the historical growth trend of the Malaysian agriculture sector between 2010 and 2017, the GDP of the Malaysian agriculture sector is projected to grow by 4.3% to MYR100.0 billion in 2018.


Other agriculture: Agriculture activities include the farming and harvesting of paddy, vegetables, fruits, food crops, etc.

Forestry and logging: Activities include the production of round wood for the forest-based manufacturing industries as well as the extraction and gathering of wild growing non-wood forest products.

Fishing and aquaculture: Activities include capture fishery and aquaculture, covering the use of fishery resources from marine, brackish or freshwater environments, with the goal of capturing or gathering fish, crustaceans, mollusks and other marine organisms and products such as aquatic plants, pearls, sponges, etc.

Establishments: Establishments include individual proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, private limited companies, public limited companies, co-operatives, and public corporations.

Occupation levels: Occupation levels include skilled (managers, professionals, technicians and associate professionals), semi-skilled (clerical support, plant and machine operators, etc.), and low-skilled (elementary occupations).

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