Malay rice millers urge government to allocate 20,000 metric tonnes padi purchase quota

ALOR STAR: The Malay Rice Millers' Association (PPBMM) today urged the government to allocate a maximum quota of 20,000 metric tonnes per season for the purchase of padi from farmers to break the monopoly of large-scale rice mills.

Its chairman Mohamad Termizi Yop said that the measure would ensure equal opportunities for all rice millers, particularly those owned by Bumiputeras.

He said that many small-scale rice millers, especially among Bumiputeras, were forced to shut down as they struggled to secure padi purchases to cover their operational costs.

"At present, there is no set quota, with some mills receiving padi purchases exceeding 40,000, 60,000, and even 70,000 metric tonnes.

"When these giant mills fail to secure sufficient padi purchases, they resort to hiring brokers to source padi elsewhere, disrupting operations of smaller scale rice millers.

"By setting a 20,000 metric tonnes limit for all mills, it would create a level playing field," he said during a press conference after PPBMM Annual Grand Meeting here today.

Termizi said that the absence of a quota for padi purchase has led to a monopoly among large-scale millers, resulting in the decline of Bumiputera rice millers.

"This has been happening for the past five years. Initially, there were over 300 Bumiputera rice millers nationwide, but now only 60 remain. In Kedah, there were 35 Bumiputera rice millers, and now only seven are active.

"If there is a giant mill getting 60,000 metric tonnes of padi, it will lead to the closure of these small mills. We urge the government to pay attention to this quota," he added.

Commenting further, he said the quota would address various issues related to the country's rice supply, preventing mismanagement and fraud that led to shortages in the past.

"We do not want such deception to occur. The association has long been advocating for attention to this matter, but it seems our concerns are left unattended," he added.

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