Budget 2022: Focus on padi and rice industry to achieve self-sufficiency goals, urges Agri Ministry DG

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Budget 2022 should focus on the padi and rice industry for the country to achieve a self-sufficiency level (SSL) of more than 75% in 2025 to ensure food security for the people.

Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry director-general Azman Mahmood said this included efforts to increase input and output subsidies for the country's 300,000 farmers.

He said input subsidies, like fertilisers and pesticides for hill padi, and incentives for certified seedlings; as well as output subsidies such as the subsidy price scheme of RM360 per metric tonne at rice mills; will be able to increase production as well as the farmers' income.

"Focus should continue to be given to ensure increase in national padi production and SSL to reduce the country’s dependence on rice imports and enhance preparedness in facing a food security crisis," he said recently.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz will table Budget 2022 this Friday (Oct 29). It is expected to have three main areas of focus, namely economic recovery, rebuilding the country's resilience, and catalysing reforms.

Meanwhile, Azman said the correct use of the Rice Check method should be encouraged so that fertilisers given to farmers are used optimally in increasing the national average yield per hectare to seven tonnes during the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), from the current average yield of 3.5 tonnes, to achieve the national rice SSL target.

Rice Check is a guide to manage rice crops according to set targets. – Bernama

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