Set ceiling price imported rice, LPP urges government

ALOR STAR: Farmers' Organisation Authority (LPP) is urging the government to set a ceiling price for imported rice to curb millers from manipulating the supply.

Its chairman Datuk Mahfuz Omar said LPP's Farmers' Advisory Council is also of the opinion that the current floor price for locally-produced padi should be raised to address issues concerning the staple food.

Mahfuz added that the government's move through the National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol) to bring down the retail price of imported white rice between RM2 and RM3 per kilogramme in the market is only sustainable for up to three and four months.

"The centre of the issue is the competition among the millers to buy padi from our farmers. They are buying padi at the price of up to RM1,900 per metric tonnes as opposed the floor price for padi purchasing set by the government at RM1,300 per metric tonnes.

"What happened is they can't produce local white rice (BPT) since they purchase padi at a high price, so they could not sell BPT at RM26 per packet (of 10kg).

"In the end, people are saying they (the millers) are keeping the stock and being packed as imported rice," he told reporters after opening the LPP Agromadani Mega Raya Sales at Dataran Jalan Istana Lama here today.

Mahfuz added that the proposal has been included in the resolution that was submitted to the government and the relevant ministry to view the issue from a whole padi industry supply chain from padi seeds to rice.

Commenting further, he advised farmers to brace for another round of padi seeds price hike, which is in tandem with the jump in the padi purchasing price.

"If the padi purchasing price increased, it is common for the padi seeds cost will also increase. It is normal for padi seeds price to be expensive by RM100 or RM200 (per metric tonnes) compared to the price of padi.

"This is the long-term solution that we are asking for the government to look into as soon as possible.

"For example the padi seeds issue must be resolved quickly before the new padi cultivation round begins after the Hari Raya festive season. The same goes with the new price of subsidised padi seeds," he said.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories