The Negeri Sembilan government will expand padi cultivation in Londah, Gemas by about 20 hectares as a long-term measure to increase yield, the state assembly was told today.

State Agriculture, Food Security and Cost of Living Committee chairman Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias said in addition to this, the state government will also establish more rice seed-producing areas to improve quality.

“We acknowledge that there is a shortage of local white rice (BPT), not only domestically but in some other countries too due to several factors, including rice export restrictions from India.

“Following that, we have put forward short, medium and long-term intervention measures to deal with the lack of BPT supply in the future,” he said at the state legislative meeting sitting here today.

He also said the state government has so far not decided on whether to impose conditions for the purchase of BPT, including for foreigners.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Mohamad Hanifah Abu Baker (PN-Labu) who wanted to know whether the state government has a strategic plan to open up more rice-growing areas as well as steps to ensure that locals were given priority to purchase BPT.

Meanwhile, Jalaluddin also said that between Sept 20-26, the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) received 130 metric tonnes of BPT through the BPT intervention programme, which was distributed to five FAMA outlets throughout the state.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency