COVID-19: NGOs urged govt. to monitor price, distribution, stock of rice

COVID-19: NGOs urged govt. to monitor price, distribution, stock of rice

PUCHONG: Two agriculture based NGOs, Malaysia Food Security and Sovereignty Forum and Padi Rescue urged the government to closely monitor price, distribution and stock of rice in the market during the COVID-19 outbreak crisis.

 Its coordinator Nurfitri Amir Muhammad said this action is to ensure that food security supply is maintained as the country tries to overcome the current crisis.

“The National Security Council (NSC) cannot totally depend on the private sector during crisis period as we experienced during the rice supply crisis in 2008 where the government had to take action at the last minute and saw loses up to millions of ringgit,” he said in a statement today.

The government had enforced Movement Control Order until April 14 from March 18 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Nurfitri said during a crisis, the country needs a supply of rice that can last up to three months.

“This amount of supply is enough after the government enforced Movement Control Order.

“However, acccording to Agricultural Ministry statistic, a Malaysian uses 80 kilogram of rice a year and we believed the supply stock need to be increased to six months as preparation to overcome post-COVID-19 period.

“If the supply is not enough, the government need to import more through government to government initiative to skip the export ban,” he said.

By Irman Hashim

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Nurfitri Amir MuhammadPadi Rescuerice