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700 tonnes of local rice to be distributed at 40 premises beginning Friday

700 tonnes of local rice to be distributed at 40 premises beginning Friday

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — A total of 700 metric tonnes of local white rice will be distributed throughout the peninsula beginning this Friday as an early intervention in addressing the problem of the supply of the country’s staple food.

The special programme for the distribution and sale of local white rice directly to the end user will be made at premises under the Farmers Organisation Authority (FOA) and the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) in four zones, namely the north, central, south and east.

LPP Deputy Director-General (Development) Amir Mat Amin said the rice will be supplied to 40 premises under LPP, namely 23 Peladang Outlets (PO), eight Farmers’ Organisation Agro Bazaars and nine Kedai Peladang.

He said the intervention programme, launched today, was carried out in collaboration with two companies namely Jasmine Food Corporation Sdn Bhd and Serba Wangi Sdn Bhd.

“The total distribution under LPP for the period up to the end of this year is 300 metric tonnes, while Fama is 400 metric tonnes, bringing the total amount to 700 metric tonnes,” he told Bernama today.

He said LPP is committed to distributing the rice supply which will be sold at a control price of RM26 for the 10-kilogramme packet.

“We limit the purchase to only two bags, which amounted to 20kg, for each consumer,” he added.

Meanwhile, Director-General of Paddy and Rice Regulation Division, Datuk Azman Mahmood said the shortage of local rice in the country was due to the increase in the price of imported rice which resulted in a surge in demand for local rice.

He said the purchase of large quantities by traders also contributed to the current shortage of local white rice.

“We have met with traders’ associations, as well as restaurant operators, and offered them to buy imported white rice at wholesale price, so they don’t have to use local rice, and compete with grocery stores,” he said when contacted today.

Azman said the current problem in the supply of local white rice is only temporary and believed the situation would return to normal soon with the paddy harvesting season in Kedah having started and followed by Kelantan and Terengganu.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu was today reported as saying that the supply of local white rice in the market is expected to be stable in a month following various intervention measures and continuous monitoring carried out by the government.