Pesawah, LPP urge govt to review certified padi seed quota for private producers

ALOR STAR: The Malaysian Padi Farmers Brotherhood Organisation (Pesawah) has joined the national Farmers Organisation Authority (LPP) in urging the government to review the quota for certified padi seeds production awarded to the private sector.

Pesawah executive council member Abdul Rashid Yob said the quota must be amended to limit private padi seed suppliers to only a 40 per cent share of the certified padi seed quota.

He stressed that the current quota distribution has been proven ineffective to manage the padi and rice industry, resulting in a padi seed supply crisis and derailing the current padi planting cycle.

"This quota system which allocates 80 per cent of certified padi seeds to the private sector has not shown any signs of developing the padi and rice industry.

"So we hope that the government could allocate over 50 per cent of the certified padi seed supplies towards government agencies and local Farmer Area Organisations (PPK) to protect the interest of farmer.

"There will be certain quarters that will not be happy about this change but the government has to be firm on this as the padi and rice industry is in dire need of a change," he said when contacted.

Abdul Rashid said it is high time for the move as private padi seed suppliers are currently more concerned about profit over the industry's sustainability.

"We don't deny private sector capabilities, they have the financial resources to build mills and factories, however, they have now prioritised profits over the padi and rice ecosystem.

"They have a whole network of outlets and manpower. They have grown 'arrogant' and ignore government orders even though they themselves have agreed to some of those orders," he added.

He said the government must not be concerned about backlash from the private sector as the previous quota was proven to be unsuitable for the padi and rice industry.

"We cannot continue to provide 80 per cent of the quota distribution for the private sector," he added.

Yesterday, LPP chairman Datuk Mahfuz Omar urged the government to review the quota for certified padi seeds production awarded to the private sector amidst the supply crisis.

Mahfuz reportedly said the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry should adjust the quota distribution, in line with the maximum production capacity of four government agencies involved in the supply chain.

He said currently, there were 12 producers awarded with the quota to produce an accumulated 72,000 metric tonnes of certified padi seeds nationwide, with eight of them from the private sector.

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