September 8, 2023
PETALING JAYA – In an effort to address the shortage of locally-produced rice, the government has implemented a restriction on the sale of local white rice, limiting purchases to 100kg per customer, says Datuk Azman Mahmood.The Agriculture and Food Security Ministry’s Agricultural Industry Development Division secretary said this purchase limit would be implemented until the supply of local white rice stabilises.
Addressing concerns about local grocery stores experiencing shortages of local rice, Azman said the first phase of the purchase limit would start tomorrow, and the second phase would begin on Sept 15.
“The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) will also enforce this limit in branches and Pasar Tani starting from Sept 15,” he said.
Azman noted that the local rice supply depended on the quantity of locally-harvested padi.
“The padi harvest in Selangor has already concluded and now it is happening in Kedah.
“Previously, Kedah’s padi yield decreased by 2% to 3%. We will only know this year’s yield at the end of October when Kedah’s harvest concludes.
“After Kedah, it will be Kelantan and the government will closely monitor the stockpile,” he said.
Azman stressed that there would be no issues with the local rice supply and mentioned a trading stock of about six months for imported white rice.
“Despite the major export ban in India, Malaysia was still able to import rice from other countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and Cambodia,” he said, adding that the public need not worry as there is still enough rice for the country.
The ministry has imposed a buying limit of 100kg of local white rice per individual or company to ensure equitable distribution and alleviate concerns about potential shortages.
The government has set the maximum purchase limit based on Regulation 10(1)(b) of the Paddy and Rice Control (Wholesaler and Retailer Licensing) Regulations 1996.
Meanwhile, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu assured that the country’s stock of local white rice is sufficient.
“The price of local rice is still well-regulated and ample supply remains.
“The cost of local white rice continues to be RM26 for 10kg or RM2.60 per kg,” he told the media after attending a dialogue session with rice farmers and distributors in preparation for Budget 2024.
Responding to inquiries about allegations of certain suppliers engaging in profiteering by misrepresenting the origins of their white rice as imported even when it is locally produced, Mohamad stated that these manipulation claims were mere suspicions. No official complaints have been lodged so far, he said.
“No official complaints have been registered. The suspected actions appear to have been carried out by irresponsible parties seeking easy profits,” he added.