MALAYSIA: Govt contracts involving distribution of imported rice starts in April

Country: Malaysia
MALAYSIA: Govt contracts involving distribution of imported rice starts in April
25 March 2024

The Malaysian Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, announced that starting in April, government contracts for rice distribution will involve imported white rice. This measure is aimed at ensuring sufficient supply of local white rice (BPT) in the market. About 20,000 tonnes of BPT will be made available, and existing stocks will also be processed and released for public consumption.

Currently, only about 62% of BPT stocks have been released, with the remaining balance being imported white rice. Some of the released BPT has been distributed to various entities such as police and armed forces hostels, schools, and through zakat channels. As a result, only around 50% of the rice available in the market is BPT.

The shortage of BPT is attributed to changes in consumer demand following an increase in the price of imported white rice. This price hike is influenced by various factors, including global rice price uncertainties, export limitations by source countries, and the strengthening of the US Dollar against the Malaysian Ringgit. These challenges have prompted the government to intervene by importing white rice to maintain stability in the rice market and ensure adequate supply for consumers.

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