Malaysia not facing rice shortage issues, says minister

Malaysia not facing rice shortage issues, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR,. Malaysia is not facing any issues of rice shortage, and existing stockpiles exceed stocks in neighbouring countries, Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee said.

Through agreements between the government and Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas), the company, under its corporate social responsibility (CSR), had stated its commitment to increasing national rice stocks from 150,000 metric tonnes to 290,000 metric tonnes.

“We have consistent rice supply throughout the year, we have trading stock, we have our stockpiles and our overall total is over seven months more than the country’s rice needs,” he said when winding up the debate on the Control of Padi and Rice (Amendment) Bill 2022 at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Ronald also answered a question by Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka), who asked about the rationale behind the government’s decision to extend the period of Bernas’ concession as the sole rice importer for the next 10 years.

He said the decision was the correct step in sustaining the supply of rice and that Bernas carried out its duties of ensuring supply in the country through the importation of rice, even with the Covid-19 pandemic and closed borders.

The government had previously agreed to extend the concession for a period of 10 years beginning January 11, 2021 till January 10, 2031. The Control of Padi and Rice (Amendment) Bill 2022 was passed by the Dewan Rakyat today.

— Bernama

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