BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 11 —The issue of monopoly over rice by certain private companies will be brought to the Cabinet’s attention.
Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said she would bring the matter up to Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahudin Ayub for consideration.
“Insha-Allah, we will bring it up to the Cabinet and to the attention of the minister (Salahudin) and I know Datuk Salahuddin will certainly consider the issue of monopoly by Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) and others.
“We will also give feedback, including from the rice farmers themselves, as well as a coalition representing them known as Padi Rescue, which has long been fighting over this issue,” she told reporters after attending a dialogue with farmers at the Penang International Padi Festival at Kampung Terus, Penanti here today.
Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah said it was time for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to understand the issues experienced by the farmers and try its best to resolve their issues and defend their rights
“We should also discuss in terms of how we look at the supply of food stocks in our own country. In accordance with the national policy for food production today, the target is 70 per cent but we want it to reach 100 per cent. This means that current monopolies including that by Bernas should be taken seriously.
Meanwhile, Penanti state assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin said the National Paddy and Rice Board (LPN) should be re-established.
“LPN should be re-established because now Bernas is a private company and its profits, according to the Finance Minister (Lim Guan Eng) at the recent State Assembly meeting was said to be RM1.8 billion but if we look at our farmers, they are living in a poor state, on average they earn RM500 to RM700 per hectare,” she said. — Bernama