Padi farmers call for thorough probe into unutilised of RM448m for crop management

ALOR STAR: The Malaysian Padi Farmers Brotherhood Organisation (Pesawah) has called on the government to launch an investigation into the unutilised RM448.87 million allocated for the Padi Planting Programme Management last year.

Pesawah executive council member Abdul Rashid Yob said that the finding in the 2022 Auditor-General's Report revealed a grave poor management of funds intended for the development of the padi industry.

"This is a massive amount of fund, such poor management of valuable resources should have never occurred.

"The findings have proved our claims all this while regarding poor and ineffective management and enforcement in the padi industry's supply chain.

"A swift and thorough investigation must be conducted as this involved a huge public funds and the national food security," he said when contacted today.

Abdul Rashid said the report's findings also proved that there were issues concerning the subsidised certified padi seeds supply, forcing farmers to obtain the seeds at excessive prices in the black market. Hence, he called for an immediate action against any government officials complicit in the mismanagement of the funds.

"Yes, this proves that the recent problems faced by padi farmers over the supply of certified padi seeds and many other issues in the industry were caused by mismanagement and weak enforcement. "Hence, Pesawah calls for a stern action to be taken against those involved in the mismanagement of government funds," he added.

Yesterday, it was reported that the 2022 Auditor-General's Report revealed that the remaining accumulated allocation of RM448.87 million for Padi Planting Programme Management was not spent last year.

Auditor General Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi said the fund was channeled by Agriculture and Food Security Ministry to the Board of the Farmers' Organisations (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.The delay has caused the government and the target groups to incur losses.

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