Curb subsidised fertilisers' abuse early, says minister

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, said the ministry had found cases of subsidised fertiliser being resold. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, said the ministry had found cases of subsidised fertiliser being resold. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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GURUN, Aug 4 — The issue of leakage in the distribution of subsidised fertilisers to farmers does not begin at the National Farmers' Organisation (NAFAS) level, however, it is often traced to much lower levels.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that in terms of fertilisers’ distribution, NAFAS's responsibility was completed after distributing them to the Area Farmers Organisation (PPK).

‘’From the PPK, the fertilisers are distributed to the farmers ... There our enforcement detected cases (of fertiliser leakages), not alarming but they exist.

‘’The (ministry’s) enforcement found several cases of subsidised fertilisers being sold to certain parties who then re-packaged them," he told reporters after a working visit to Malaysian NPK Fertilizer Sdn Bhd (MNFSB) here today.

He said NAFAS is also a structured national organisation at the state and area level, thus having the strength of the network to ensure effective distribution of fertilisers.

 "So it makes sense that there is no NAFAS’ involvement (in the issue of fertiliser distribution leakages)," said Saifuddin, accompanied by NAFAS board chairman Datuk Phahrolrazi Mohd on the visit.

Also present were MNFSB board of directors’ chairman Wan Kharizal Wan Khazim and NAFAS general manager Ahmad Shaari.

In addition, he said, as the ministry responsible for regulating the manufacture and wholesale of fertilisers under the Supply Act 1961, it reminded farmers who were eligible for subsidised fertilisers to use the facilities provided by the government in the best possible manner.

"In terms of enforcement, although the issue of misappropriation of fertilisers is not at an overly alarming level, we are trying to curb it at the early stage as this programme is of great benefit to the farmers.

"Farmers who are eligible for this subsidy, should utilise it for planting padi to improve yields so that they are able to produce six to seven tonnes (of padi) a hectare," he said. — Bernama

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