Almost three-quarters of rice demand met by local supply

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Sept 2017: 

Rice production in the country has reached  72% of the self-sufficiency level – still 8% short of the 80% target.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the 80% target sufficed as about  20% of consumers did not opt for locally produced rice.

“It is quite normal for 10-15% of consumers in countries where rice is the staple not opting for locally produced rice. Depending on their tastes, they might prefer Siamese rice, fragrant rice and others.

“So if the self-sufficiency level is 100%, where are we going to send the excess stock? If we want to export to other countries, is our rice competitive enough tp compete in the  international market?,” he asked after opening the National Padi Conference 2017 yesterday.

The three-day conference aims to discuss ways to boost the padi and rice industry in the country,

As such, he said that productivity in rice production must increase to meet the 80% target,  noting that production increased from 1.9 million tonnes in 1990 to 3.5 million tonnes last year.

Ahmad Shabery said Malaysia should also stress on  products based on high quality rice, like beauty creams which held huge export potential.

On a separate matter, he said that his ministry was assessing losses suffered by padi farmers in Kedah due to the latest round of flooding in the state.

“About 700ha of padi fields were affected. We will find a way to help the affected farmers  based on an existing formula.”

– Bernama

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