2022 AG's report: LPP to submit report on unspent RM448.87 million Padi Planting Programme Management allocation

ALOR STAR: The Farmers' Organisation Board (LPP) is preparing a report to the Auditor General's office over the remaining accumulated allocation of RM448.87 million for the Padi Planting Programme Management which was not spent last year. 

Its chairman Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the report is being prepared by LPP management and would be forwarded to Auditor General Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi once it is completed.

"We are preparing a report to respond to the Auditor General. It is being prepared by the LPP management.

"Once the report is completed, we will update on the matter," Mahfuz said when contacted.

He was commenting on the 2022 Auditor General's Report which revealed that the remaining accumulated allocation of RM448.87 million for Padi Planting Programme Management was not spent last year.

Wan Suraya was reported as saying that the fund was channelled by Agriculture and Food Security Ministry to LPP for the purpose of providing subsidies and incentives to rice farmers. 

The report also revealed that the government did not take any action against the supplier of fertilisers for the delay in supplying the items for the period between 2016 and 2019. 

According to the report, the delay has caused the government and the target groups to incur losses. 

Last month, it was reported that padi farmers in Kedah were crying foul over the supply shortage of subsidised certified padi seeds, forcing them to obtain the supply in the 'black market' at a price above the RM45 per kilogramme ceiling set by the government.

In response, Mahfuz and Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Muda) chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh called on the ministry to take stern action against private certified padi seeds producers over the supply shortage.

The government is spending about RM75 million annually to provide RM1.03 subsidy for each kilogramme of 72,000 metric tonnes certified padi seeds produced for padi cultivation nationwide.

Of the total production quota, the biggest chunk – over 70 per cent is awarded to 12 private producers with the remaining quota distributed among four government-linked companies (GLCs) and agencies.

They are PPK (Area Farmers Organisation) Lahar Bubu in Penang, MadaCorp, Felcra Plantation and Kemubu Agriculture Development Authority (Kada).

Following the recent supply shortage, both Ismail and Mahfuz called on the ministry to increase the subsidised certified padi seeds production quota to the GLCs and agencies. 

They said the current quota is much lesser that the actual production capacity of the GLCs and agencies. 

On Monday, Agriculture and Food Security minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said the government would revise the current quota for GLCs and agencies.

Mahfuz was reported as saying that the quantum of the quota increase would depend on the production capacity of the respective GLCs and agencies.

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