Bernas looking into ways to lower rice prices

KUALA LUMPUR: Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) says it will assess international rice market prices, operating costs and foreign currency exchange rates in an effort to help the government offer imported white rice (BPI) at a lower price.

Bernas said that the BPI price is at its highest in the past 15 years.

Last year, it brought in and distributed 1.03 million metric tonnes.

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“This means there was an increase of 46% compared with the previous year. At the same time, Bernas continues to commit to fulfilling its social obligations in managing the national buffer stock and as the ‘Buyer of Last Resort’ or the end purchaser of rice,” it said in a statement.Bernas reiterated that it would fully cooperate with the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, related agencies and authorities in finding the best mechanism and intervention measures to ensure the availability of a stable and sufficient rice supply for Malaysians.

Last Friday, the National Action Council on Cost of Living held a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The council and the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry have been given until March 20 to resolve the issue of padi and rice prices.

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