BY ERMIZI MUHAMAD
SHAH ALAM, 20 OKT: The Save The Paddy and Rice Industry Action Body (PADI Rescue) is urging the Federal Government to re-establish the National Paddy and Rice Board (LPN).
PADI Rescue Coordinator, Nur Fitri Amir said that was to ensure farmers’ right are protected as well as for several improvement aspect.
He said the improvements would include LPN to have full authority, at every stage from rice seed selection to marketing, BH Online reported.
“Only entities free from commercial or profitable interests are qualified to take care of the paddy and rice industry, not private companies such as BERNAS (Syarikat Padi dan Beras Nasional Berhad) which is governed by their commercial interests.
“It is undeniable that BERNAS is successful in ensuring the company’s sustainability with millions of ringgit in profit, but the company has failed to carry out its social responsibility to further strengthen the Bumiputera’s rice factories.
“Currently, only 20 Bumiputera factories are participating in the scheme under BERNAS compared to over 200 factories before. We wonder why the number has declined when rice requirement in the country has never reduced,” he said.
Earlier, the coalition presented a 14-claims memorandum at the Bangunan Perdana Putra with the United Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Yazid and Malaysian Malay Rice Manufacturer Association, Mussonnef Md Radzi.
Among the 14 claims included regular controls imposed on imported rice, whether legally imported or not.
Additionally, the need for the government to give wholesalers and retailers rights to the Area Farmers’ Organization (PPK).
In fact, there should be a review on paddy price subsidies structure, for all type revenue, be it for paddy being sold directly, or being used for seed or processed into rice.