THE Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP) has given an assurance that the local white rice supply in the country is sufficient to cope with the demand for the staple food, despite various claims the commodity is missing on the market.LPP director-general Azulita Salim said despite various challenges, such as the unpredictable weather that has affected rice growth and resulted in limited supply, this should not be a cause for concern as supplies have been distributed to locations affected by a shortage. She added that the association does not encourage anyone to limit the purchase to two bags of 10kg for each customer. “We do limit the purchase to two bags of 10kg for each customer at a controlled price of RM26 for a 10kg pack. “As soon as the ministry gave the instructions, we immediately contacted the manufacturers to direct supplies to the affected areas in efforts to help the people deal with the current shortage of local white rice in the market.”
The local white rice shortage will be tackled by the end of the year following steps taken by the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (KPKM) Paddy and Rice Regulatory Division, KPKM director-general Datuk Azman Mahmood reportedly said.
He told Harian Metro that a meeting had been held between restaurant operators, small vendors and related parties at Putrajaya on Friday (Sept 22) to discuss immediate initiatives to ensure that the supply of rice in the market is not disrupted.On the other hand, LPP said the uncertain weather and diseases throughout the last harvest season between April and August have caused the supply of local white rice to face slight ‘interruptions’ in the market. LPP deputy director of development Amir Mat Amin said on average, padi yield per harvest can reach seven metric tonnes per hectare but for last season it dipped to only four metric tonnes. The lack of local white rice became more apparent after the increase in the price of imported rice, which in turn has forced some consumers to switch to local white rice, he said to Bernama. – Sept 23, 2023