NIBONG TEBAL, June 11 — The recent RM1.20 per litre increase in diesel prices will not affect paddy farmers as they will continue to receive subsidies, assures Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

He clarified that ongoing diesel subsidies covered all paddy farmers using diesel, and the current registration process had caused some temporary confusion.

Mohamad emphasised that the government was committed to ensuring the subsidies reached the intended recipients.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) and the Ministry of Finance are actively providing explanations on the diesel subsidy, with Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan personally overseeing the communication efforts,” he said after an engagement programme with Penang farmers in conjunction with the Tasek Area Farmers’ Organisation Annual General Meeting here today.

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He was responding to media reports that the RM1.20 per litre increase in diesel prices would burden farmers, especially those involved in paddy cultivation in Peninsular Malaysia.

Angkatan Bersatu Anak Muda (Armada Bersatu) Information Chief Mohd Asyaraf Mustaqim Badrul Munir had raised concerns regarding the matter, claiming that the Budi Agri-Commodities programme seemed to overlook paddy farmers by not thoroughly examining the subsidy mechanism, thus potentially oppressing them while benefiting capitalists.

Meanwhile, Mohamad said the engagement session today demonstrated KPKM’s commitment to making national food security to be more resilient and sustainable, including enhancing the performance of the entire chain of activities from production to availability and distribution.

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As part of these efforts, he said the ministry had allocated RM3.254 million for five ongoing projects in Penang through the Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP), benefitting 20,301 farmer members across the state.

Mohamad expressed hope that the development budget would motivate farmers in Penang to continue playing a proactive role in advancing the agriculture and agro-food industry.

He also urged the Farmers’ Organisation to support the government’s initiatives to ensure the sustainability of the agro-food sector and produce progressive farmers. — Bernama