No need to fear rice shortage due to Covid-19, says senator

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians need not fear a staple food shortage during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond although 30% of the nation's rice supply is sourced from other countries, says Idris Ahmad.

The senator said the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry had allayed such fear in response to concerns raised at the Senate.

Malaysia had 750,000 metric tonnes of rice stock, and the monthly demand only amounted to 200,000 metric tonnes.

"I was worried if we had enough rice supply for a prolonged period if another pandemic worse than Covid-19 hits the country and the world," he said.

Idris, who is also PAS vice-president, expressed concern because Malaysia's self-sustainability rate in rice production was only 70%.

He also lauded the setting up of the high-powered Cabinet committee to formulate National Food Security Policy.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chaired the Cabinet committee comprising various relevant ministries.

Idris said it would ensure the accessibility, safety, availability, and affordability of food under any challenging situations in the future.

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