SERDANG, June 10 — The proposal to increase the ceiling price of local white rice (BPT) is expected to be finalised before October this year, said Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

He said that the proposal is still being discussed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS), and several other ministries.

“(The proposal) on any price change (BPT) and so on are still being discussed, involving four to five ministries.

“Not only MAFS but the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) and a few other ministries,” he said, in a press conference at the launch of MAHA 2024, here, today.

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Asked when the proposal would be finalised, Mohamad said: “Before October. Not that long.”

He said this when asked about the proposal to increase the BPT ceiling price, to protect the future of all parties in the food production chain, especially the paddy farmers.

In November last year, the Paddy and Rice Regulatory Division found that the ceiling price of BPT should be increased to RM3.20 per kilogramme (kg), compared with the current RM2.60 per kg.

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The increase in the ceiling price of BPT is important, to prevent the dumping of local rice as manufacturers are no longer interested in continuing to purchase rice, due to low prices.

Regarding cases of bird flu infections abroad, due to exposure to infected cattle, he said that the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) closely monitors the entry of food supplies into the country.

“Any place infected with the flu or any virus, the DVS will act quickly to advise the ministry not to import livestock and so on,” he said.

The media reported that a dairy worker in the United States (US) was confirmed to be the third victim of bird flu, after being exposed to an infected cow, and the first to suffer from respiratory problems. — Bernama