PUTRAJAYA: Padi millers and rice wholesalers have been asked to increase the supply of local white rice (BPT) by 20 per cent through the Local White Rice Special Programme to restore supply in the market, the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry said.
The ministry said the request had been agreed upon by padi millers and rice wholesalers in a joint engagement session with the North Zone Rice Manufacturers and Rice Wholesalers Industry on Aug 27 in Alor Star, Kedah.
"Through this programme, Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) will give the additional quota to Bumiputera wholesalers to increase the country's BPT supply," it said.
The ministry added that the price of BPT had remained at the controlled price of RM2.60 per kg since 2008 and it was the lowest price in the region.
Thailand sells the commodity at a price of RM2.70 per kg. In Cambodia, it is priced at RM3.20 per kg.
The ministry said a 2024 Budget dialogue session with industry players and stakeholders under the rice subsector would be held at the Serdang Malaysia Agricultural Expo Park in Serdang, Selangor, on Thursday.
The session aimed to get input and views from industry players on methods to increase BPT production, it said.
In terms of monitoring the commodity, the ministry said it was carried out through Op Jamin, introduced on July 1, with the cooperation of the Padi and Rice Authority and the Enforcement Division of the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry.
The ministry said it launched Op BPT on Aug 16, which focuses on inspection and enforcement of padi millers and rice wholesalers in country.
It added that padi millers and rice wholesalers who violated the Padi and Rice Control Act
1994 (Act 522) would get their licences cancelled or suspended. — BERNAMA