Malaysia and Thailand have agreed to work closely together to develop maize cultivation industry in Malaysia, said Malaysian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

"Malaysia is in the midst of starting maize cultivation for livestock feed industry and will definitely benefit from Thailand's experience in the area," he said after meeting with Thailand Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya.

The meeting was held ahead of the annual consultation meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and his Thailand counterpart General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday.

Ahmad Shabery said maize was the most important raw ingredient in livestock feed for chickens, cattle, goats and fish.

"Right now, almost 100 percent of maize we consumed are imported," he said.

Ahmad Shabery said Malaysia imported up to four million tonnes of maize grains valued over RM3 billion annually and if part of it could be produced domestically, the country would be able the create a new industry ecosystem, which would benefit those along the chain.

Thailand, on the other hand, is producing five million tonnes of corn annually and has been deemed the most successful country in the region in maize cultivation, he said.

Meanwhile, Sarikulya expressed hope that the agricultural cooperation between the two countries could be enhanced, including in tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IIU) fishing.

He said the two countries were in the midst of finalising the memorandum of understanding in agriculture field, which is expected to be inked later this year.