Review padi purchase floor prices, government urged

ALOR STAR: The Malaysian Padi Farmers Brotherhood Organisation (Pesawah) is urging the government to review padi purchase floor prices to RM1,700 per metric tonnes to ensure it is aligned with the recently revised certified padi seed prices.

Its executive council member Abdul Rashid Yob said the current floor price of RM1,300 per metric tonnes falls short when compared to the RM54 per 20 kg packet of certified padi seeds.

He said the revised certified padi seed prices are reasonable for farmers who can sell padi at the market rate of around RM1,750 per metric tonnes, some are still constrained by the lower floor rate, struggling to achieve a satisfactory profit margin.

"Even though the purchase price during the last padi cultivation cycle was around RM1,750 per metric tonnes, that price is not guaranteed for the upcoming cycle. It could potentially remain the same, or it could even drop to the floor price.

"The current padi purchase floor price and seed prices ranging from RM54 to RM58 (per 20kg) are unfair to us. If the government sets the floor price at RM1,700 per metric tonnes, we would agree with that," he said when contacted today.

On April 18, Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh said padi seed prices had been adjusted to RM54 per 20kg packet to prevent supply disruptions at accredited outlets as reported last year.

Dr Ismail justified the price increase by citing higher padi purchasing prices, which would still result in higher profit margins for padi farmers despite the increased seed costs.

He said 1.5 million 20kg packets of certified padi seeds had been distributed, surpassing the demand of 771,000 20kg packets for the next padi farming cycle in Mada areas.

Meanwhile, Rashid called for Dr Ismail to further examine fluctuations in prices of certified padi seeds, padi purchase prices, and local white rice prices.

"Local white rice prices remain at RM26 per 10kg, while padi purchase prices are still insufficient, even with the floor price increase, the market rate is still not guaranteed for farmers.

"Meanwhile, certified padi seed prices have been steadily increasing since 2020, and it's the farmers who are affected," he added.

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