MALAYSIA is not facing a shortage of rice, and existing stockpiles exceed those in neighbouring countries, Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Ronald Kiandee said.
Through agreements between the government and Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas), the company stated its commitment to increasing national rice stocks from 150,000 tonnes to 290,000 tonnes.
“We have consistent rice supply for 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.,
Kiandee also answered a question by Khoo Poay Tiong (Kota Melaka-PH), who asked about the rationale behind the government’s decision to extend the period of Bernas’s concession as the sole rice importer for the next 10 years.
Kiandee said the decision was the correct step in sustaining the supply of rice and that Bernas ensured supply, even during 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 bill was passed by the Dewan Rakyat today. – Bernama, July 19, 2022.