KUALA LUMPUR: There is an urgent need to restructure the existing paddy and rice sector to ensure a sustainable future for the farmers.
Universiti Putra Malaysia Institute of Agricultural and Food Policy Studies research fellow Prof Datin Paduka Fatimah Mohamed Arshad said the move will allow farmers to choose the input they needed and freedom to market their crops.
She said currently, farmers have limited choice of seeds, breeds, fertilisers and pesticides under the subsidy system.
“They also have limited choice to market their harvested crops.
“By restructuring the existing system, it will allow the farmers to remain competitive and ensure the country's food security," she said after a Malay Economic Dialogue session titled ‘Nation’s Paddy and Rice Industry’ organised by the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) today.
Fatimah was one of the panelists along with former Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) chief operating officer Ahmad Ilham Abdul Samad.
Also present was former National Paddy and Rice Board (LPN) director Ahmad Annuar Ibrahim.
She added that farmers must also be given the chancebto be more active in the value chain such as processing and branding their own products.” she said.