The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) is confident that the shortage of local white rice in the domestic market will be overcome now that the harvest season has begun in Kedah.

Its Deputy Minister, Chan Foong Hin said the harvest season in Kedah can be a catalyst for the government's efforts and interventions to meet the shortage of rice supply through the Local White Rice Special Programme (BPT), which is actively being implemented.

"After a series of intervention measures, including the BPT, rice shortage in the domestic market is expected to be addressed by the harvesting that has begun in Kedah," he said when winding up the debate on the motion of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) Mid-Term Review (MTR) at ministry level here today.

Previously, MAFS Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu was reported to have said that the supply of domestic white rice in the market was expected to stabilise again within a month after the government took various intervention measures and conducted continuous monitoring, including the implementation of BPT Special Programme.

Through the programme, manufacturers were told to increase production by 20 per cent of local white rice supply for the domestic market for a period of one year.

Meanwhile, Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister Datuk Rubiah Wang said the role of Rural Community Centres (PKD) as a platform for collecting and marketing the products of rural entrepreneurs will be strengthened through the PKD Mobile Programme.

She said the PKD Mobile programme, to be launched this year, will ease the burden of rural entrepreneurs so that they do not have to walk far to market their products.

The sitting continues tomorrow.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency