Bernas welcomes Madani rice initiative, says will cooperate fully

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister's Madani White Rice initiative is a welcome one, says Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas)

In a statement Sunday (Feb 25), Bernas said that it also welcomes the suggestion by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that the Madani Malaysia White Rice (BPMM) initiative be examined and refined through a more detailed engagement session by all stakeholders before any decision is made.

ALSO READ: Making Madani rice a reality

Bernas added that it will examine the international rice market prices, operating costs and foreign currency exchange rates in an effort to help the government with offering imported white rice (BPI) prices.

It then said that the BPI price trend is at its highest in the past 15 years.

"We (Bernas) have brought in and distributed 1.03 million metric tonnes of BPI in 2023, which is an increase of 46% compared to the previous year,” it said.

ALSO READ: More talks over Madani white rice to be held before decision next month, says Anwar

"We continue to commit to fulfilling our social obligations in managing the country's buffer stock and as a 'Buyer of Last Resort' or the end buyer of padi,” added Bernas.

Bernas then said that it will cooperate fully with the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, related agencies and authorities in finding the best mechanism and intervention measures to ensure the availability of stable and sufficient rice supply for Malaysians.

ALSO READ: Madani rice supposed to cut out cartels, says PM

They then praised the government's efforts to listen and take into account all views from government representatives, industry players, academics and non-governmental organisations at the National Action Council for Cost of Living.

On Saturday (Feb 24), Anwar said Bernas has agreed to review the price of imported white rice to be sold at a cheaper price.

He said this would provide an alternative for people to purchase rice at a more affordable price.

Anwar said this after chairing the special meeting of the National Action Council for Cost of Living.

ALSO READ: PM asks Naccol to hold weekly meetings to find rice issue solution

He added that the Council had received suggestions and views from the industry's representative on the country's rice situation, particularly to ensure the availability of rice at reasonable prices for the people.

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