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Shortage of a staple diet

by | Sep 15, 2023 | NATIONAL, NEWS, Opinions | 0 comments

BY: CHRISTOPHER FERNANDEZ

Malaysians are raising a hue and cry that their staple diet of rice is facing a shortage of supply and a marked increase in prices that is causing growing concern and worry as they figure out alternative food sources.

Certain independent analysts have been warning that Malaysia faces an issue of food security not only for rice and rice based products but also eggs, chicken, beef and mutton and fish and the prices are now beyond the reach of ordinary consumers.

There is reportedly a 38 percent shortage in rice for local consumption and Malaysia has to compete with neighbouring Indonesia who also faces a crisis in obtaining rice and the Philippines which is the largest rice importing country in ASEAN.

Making matters worse is an indiscriminate decision by the Indian government to restrict rice exports which has caused the selling price of imported rice to rise astronomically from RM2,350 per tonne to RM3,200 per tonne.

This hefty price increase of 36 percent effective September 1, 2023 is envisaged to make life more difficult for those in the B40 and M40 groups to obtain their daily supply of rice and the government is being urged to look at alternatives.

Other suggestions by Malaysians posting in social media include increasing the stockpile of rice, enforcing price controls and importing from rice producing countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan.

-THE MALAYSIA VOICE

** The views expressed on this opinion is of the writer and not the publisher

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