Selangor Journal
Children play with a ball after rice is spread for drying at a rice mill on the outskirts of Kolkata, India, on January 31, 2019. — Picture by REUTERS

Malaysia to discuss rice export curbs with India

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Malaysia will talk to the Indian government to find the “best solution” to New Delhi’s rice export curbs, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu said yesterday, amid concerns over rising prices and supply shortages.

Padiberas Nasional Bhd, or Bernas, will negotiate with other suppliers like Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia, Mohamad told parliament.

Malaysia has seen lower supplies and an increase in rice prices in recent weeks as hot weather threatens harvests, with countries led by top exporter India restricting shipments to curb inflation and ensure food security.

Putrajaya has asked rice millers in the country to increase their monthly production by 20  per cent for a year, said Mohamad, adding that current domestic rice shortages were expected to be resolved within a month.

The country currently has 900,000 metric tonnes in rice stockpiles, enough to cover its needs for four to five months, said Mohamad.

— Reuters

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