Penang gets 30,000kg local white rice to address shortage, says state exco

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 19 — Penang has received 30,000kg of local white rice to address a shortage of the rice variety since last week, said state exco Fahmi Zainol.

The Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman said the local white rice supply arrived today.

“We are the first state to receive the rice under the local white rice supply intervention initiative announced by the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry,” he told Malay Mail at his office in Komtar today.

He said the 3,000 sacks of rice (at 10kg per sack) will be distributed by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Board (Fama).

“This will resolve the shortage in local white rice supply in the state in the short term,” he said.

He said individual buyers can buy a maximum of two sacks (20kg) each directly from Fama while group buys such as traders can buy up to 10 sacks each.

The local white rice supply can be purchased at any Fama outlets in the state and price will be according to the ceiling price set by the government, he added.

He said the ministry will continue to supply the local white rice in stages until the shortage is resolved.

Fahmi said the state has been facing shortages in local white rice supply since last week.

“I’ve checked hyper markets, supermarkets and sundry shops on the island and the mainland, many do not have supply of local white rice,” he said.

He said with the intervention initiative, local white rice supply will soon be resolved in Penang.

He reminded the public not to panic buy and hoard local white rice as this could affect supply for others.

Fahmi also said Penang will be discussing with the agriculture and food security ministry to allow the state to control its own rice production.

“We want autonomy to have our own paddy seed bank as a long-term solution to ensure sufficient supply in Penang,” he said.

Penang has a total 5,262 registered paddy farmers and 12,105ha of paddy fields that produce 122,321 metric tons of paddy annually.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu recently announced that the local white rice intervention initiative involving 12 states in peninsular Malaysia.

He said 400,000 kg or 400 metric tons of local white rice will be distributed through 35 operation centres, 416 Fama retail outlets and 11 Fama Corporation marketing outlets.