TELUK INTAN — Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said that yesterday he held talks with representatives of the Indian government over the country’s white rice export restrictions.
“The Indian Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has sent representatives to discuss the issue on a government-to-government (G2G) basis.
“This means that we don’t sit still to ensure an adequate local rice supply and that the price remains affordable. We hope that this G2G meeting will help address the current supply shortage,” he told a press conference after visiting FELCRA’s Ladang Kekal Pengeluaran Benih Padi here today.
Mohamad was previously reported as saying that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) hoped to hold a meeting with India’s Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister soon to find the best solution on the issue of white rice export restrictions.
He said that one of the essences of the meeting was to ask the Indian government to continue exporting white rice to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Mohamad once again reminded the public to purchase rice according to their needs and refrain from panic buying.
“If you need two bags of rice a month, then just buy two packets of…insya-Allah, we can control the supplies in the market,” he said.
As part of the long-term plan to address the rice supply issue, Mohamad said the ministry would expand the Large-Scale Smart Padi Field (SBB Smart) programme in FELCRA settlements in Kedah, Kelantan, Kedah and Pahang soon.
He also said the MAFS would hold discussions with the Sarawak and Sabah governments on developing more padi fields in the states in an effort to ensure sufficient and balanced rice supplies in the country. — BERNAMA