Agri Ministry to ensure seed distribution delay to padi farmers won’t happen again, says Kiandee

JOHOR BARU: The delay in seed distribution to padi farmers in Kedah and Perlis will be looked into closely to avoid the recurrence of such incidents, says Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee.

The Agriculture and Food Industries Minister said the ministry views the matter seriously and is taking the necessary steps to prevent such incidents from happening again.

"Several incidents have recently been reported in Kedah but it is not because of a lack of seeds or delay in distribution but due to high demand for a specific type of variety, the MR297 variety.

"The ministry views the distribution of the seeds as an important matter that needs to be solved immediately to avoid it from being a big problem in the future," he said.

He noted that problems with padi distribution was not a new occurrence and the ministry has been improving it over the years.

Kiandee said this at a press conference during his two-day working visit here on Saturday (Oct 23).

He said the ministry has also set a ceiling price for the padi seeds at RM35 for a bag (2kg) to avoid price manipulation of the item.

"Previously, there were those who would hide the seeds and sell them at a higher price. Some have also been arrested for doing so.

"However, the ministry has now set a ceiling price and with that move, there is no more room for manipulation," he said, adding that the ministry would continue to take measures to protect padi farmers.

On Tuesday (Oct 19), Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada) president Che Ani Mat Zain reportedly claimed that the delay in padi seed distribution had affected some 50,000 farmers in Perlis and Kedah.

In a statement on Wednesday (Oct 20), the state Agriculture Department assured that there were enough padi seeds for farmers planting padi on a total of 520,000ha fields throughout Peninsular Malaysia.
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