Talks held with Indian govt reps over white rice exports, says Mat Sabu

TELUK INTAN: Talks have been held with representatives of the Indian government over the country's white rice export restrictions, says Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

"The Indian Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has sent representatives to discuss the issue on a government-to-government (G2G) basis.

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"This means that we are not sitting and are ensuring there is adequate local rice supply and for the price to remain affordable. We hope that this G2G meeting will help address the current supply shortage," he told a press conference after visiting Felcra's Ladang Kekal Pengeluaran Benih Padi here on Friday (Sept 29).

Mohamad was previously reported as saying that the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry hoped to hold a meeting with India's Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister soon to find the best solution on the issue of white rice export restrictions.

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He said that one of the essences of the meeting was to ask the Indian government to continue exporting white rice to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Mohamad once again reminded the public to purchase rice according to their needs and refrain from panic buying.

As part of the long-term plan to address the rice supply issue, Mohamad said the ministry would expand the Large-Scale Smart Padi Field (SBB Smart) programme in Felcra settlements in Kedah, Kelantan, Kedah and Pahang soon.

He also said the ministry would hold discussions with the Sarawak and Sabah governments on developing more padi fields in the states in an effort to ensure sufficient and balanced rice supplies in the country. – Bernama

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