KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) expects the supply of local white rice (BPT) to rebound within a month following the government’s recent intervention measures.
In a report by Malay national daily Sinar Harian, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said that the intervention measures through the BPT Special Programme will increase the rice production quota in the market nationwide by more than 20 per cent.
“Through this BPT Special Programme, the supply of local white rice will be restored within a month.
“At the same time, continuous monitoring will be conducted with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living through Operation Jamin,” he was quoted as saying.
On September 2, rice manufacturers and national rice wholesalers were reportedly asked to increase the supply of BPT by 20 per cent through the Special Local White Rice Programme, as an intervention measure to increase the supply in the market.
In a statement, KPKM said that rice manufacturers and rice wholesalers had agreed to this during an engagement session on August 27, in Alor Setar.
The Kota Raja MP also said that he will hold another engagement session with manufacturers and stakeholders in the country’s rice industry, this Thursday.
“The ministry will hold a special press conference after the session to explain the short and long-term solution methods and mechanisms to deal with the BPT issue,” he was quoted as saying.
In the meantime, he also expressed confidence that the Large-Scale Smart Paddy Field (SMART SBB) Mini Sekinchan Mada Programme will be able to boost local white rice production further.
“If you look at the results of the SMART SBB Mini Sekinchan, the production of BPT has increased to more than three tonnes to 14 tonnes compared to only 11 tonnes per season.
“Next year, the ministry will increase the allocation for paddy rice to ensure that the paddy field irrigation infrastructure supports the increase in BPT production, in tandem with the addition of another rice production season, bringing it to five seasons within two years,” he said.
The SMART SBB Mini Sekinchan Mada-Bernas paddy farming project in Kampung Lat 1000 covers a land area of 97.70 hectares with 28 participants.