Imported white rice price to be reduced by between RM2 and RM3 beginning tomorrow

PUTRAJAYA: The retail price of imported white rice (BPI) will be reduced by between RM2 and RM3 beginning tomorrow.

According to a statement from the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, the decision was finalised during the National Livelihood Action Council Meeting (Naccol) meeting today.

The ministry said it has implemented various intervention measures to manage the shortage of local white rice(BPT) in the market following the adjustment of BPI price by Padiberas Nasional Bhd (BERNAS) on Sept 1, last year.

Accordingly, in order to increase the people's access to rice supply at a reasonable price, the government, through the Naccol meeting agreed that a reduction in the retail selling price of BPI of between RM2 to RM3 in the market will take effect on Wednesday.

The ministry expressed optimism that this initiative would be able to help the people reduce the cost of living especially during the month of Ramadan and the upcoming festive season.

"In order to increase the distribution of BPT in the market, the government decided that all current stocks of padi and rice that have been purchased by manufacturers amounting to 140,000 metric tons can be processed and released for use in the local market immediately.

"Therefore, the ministry will increase enforcement through the state Padi and Rice Regulatory Boards throughout the country. Madani Agro Sales activities implemented by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Board (FAMA) and the Farmers' Organisation Authority (LPP) will be expanded in terms of location and increased programme frequency."

The ministry said the government also agreed that all Government Contracts fully adopt the use of BPI. Accordingly, through this method, the additional supply of 20,000 metric tons of BPT can be fully distributed in the market in April.

"All these measures will be able to increase the availability of rice supply to the people through the sale of BPI at a lower price as well as the increase of BPT in the market.

"The ministry will also continue discussions with all stakeholders to refine a long-term action plan for a more realistic rice production cost structure to ensure that the rice and rice industry is sustainable, especially in safeguarding the interests and welfare of rice farmers and increasing the country's rice production productivity.

"Indeed, this decision reflects the full commitment of the Madani Government in looking after the welfare of the people and further strengthening the national food security agenda."

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