KUCHING, Nov 21 — The price of Sarawak’s local rice is not subject to the Control of Padi and Rice Act 1994, said the State Deputy Minister of Food Industry, Commodities and Regional Development Datuk Abdul Rahman Ismail.

As such, he said, the price of the rice is floated depending on its demand and supply.

He said that with the floating price, paddy farmers can enjoy better income and are able to continue their paddy planting activities.

“This is important considering that paddy production is still low in Sarawak, at a rate of less than five per cent of the country’s total paddy production and involves high costs,” he said.

He was responding to a question from Dayang Noorazah Awang Sohor (GPS-Lingga) during the question and answer session at the Sarawak State Assembly (DUN) meeting here today.

Abdul Rahman said Sarawak is known for its traditional local rice which is in various forms, aromas, colours and textures.

He said among the famous local traditional rice in Sarawak are Bario, Bajong, Biris and Wai.

“Taking into account these special features, we are targeting to promote local rice as premium traditional rice for the niche market, which can be sold for more than RM15 per kilogram in the market.

“For example, the retail price of Bario Rice can reach RM28 per kilogram in Kuching City (including logistics costs),” he added. — Bernama