Deputy agriculture minister: Factories to process, distribute all available paddy, rice stocks immediately

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The government has decided to increase the distribution of local white rice in the market to address the current shortage.

Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup said this was decided during a meeting held by the National Cost of Living Action Council (Naccol) yesterday.

“The government is always working to overcome economic challenges not only faced by our country but by other countries globally, one of the challenges is related to rice.

“So the government is aware of the issues faced regarding imported rice and local white rice. Naccol has decided on a few things, firstly the government to increase the distribution of local white rice in the market and the government will decide that all current available stocks of paddy and rice which have been bought by factories worth 140,000 metric tonnes will be processed and distributed for use in the local market effective immediately,” Kurup said in Parliament during question time today.

He said Naccol also decided that all government contracts are used for imported white rice and through this method, there will be an additional supply of local white rice of 20,000 metric tonnes and can be fully distributed in the market from April onwards.

“And thirdly, the reduction of local white rice retail prices by RM2 to RM3 will take effect today (March 20).

“We hope that these initiatives could help the rakyat reduce the cost of living, especially during the Ramadan month and other festive seasons to come,” he said.

He was responding to PAS’ Besut MP Datuk Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh who asked the government to list in detail efforts taken to address the current rice shortage in the century.

The current retail price of local white rice or BPI (beras tempatan putih) in the market is between RM38 to RM45 for a 10kg pack and with the announcement of the new price range, a 10kg pack of imported white rice will be reduced to RM35.




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