KPKM refutes claims of cartel in rice, paddy seed prices

KPKM refutes claims of cartel in rice, paddy seed prices




Updated 6 hours ago ·
Published on 4 Jan 2024 10:54PM ·





The Agriculture and Food Security Ministry conducts regulatory activities, including licensing and enforcement, to ensure the rice industry’s healthy and orderly development. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 4, 2024.

THE Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (KPKM) has refuted claims of a cartel or mafia manipulating rice and paddy seed prices in Malaysia.

In a statement, KPKM asserted that the country’s rice sector is governed by the Kawalselia Padi dan Beras (KPB) regulatory body under the Rice Control Act 1994 (Act 522).

The ministry conducts regulatory activities, including licensing and enforcement, to ensure the rice industry’s healthy and orderly development.

“This act also grants powers to the KPB Director-General to issue licences and permits for padi and rice transactions, including manufacturing, wholesale, retail, import or export, and inter-state transfers,” the statement read.

The ministry’s statement highlighted the issuance of 39,000 different licenses, including wholesale rice, export, import, paddy mill, paddy purchase, retail rice, and special approvals for certified paddy seeds (BPS). According to the statement, this demonstrates that there is no cartel or mafia capable of monopolising the rice industry in Malaysia.

“As for BPS, KPKM has allocated 72,000 metric tonnes of BPS to meet the needs of farmers for the year 2023.

“The manufacturing licence for certified paddy seeds (BPS) is also granted to government-linked companies (GLCs) to supply paddy seeds to farmers. The confirmation of BPS through laboratory tests is carried out by the Malaysian Department of Agriculture,” the statement said.

During the BPS Operation Task Force conducted from November 7 to 21, the KPKM ensured that retailers adhered to government-set prices for certified paddy seeds (BPS) and that there was no adulteration in BPS.

As a result, the ministry revoked 22 BPS sales licenses held by retailers who violated license conditions.

“KPKM warns all manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to always comply with the laws and will not compromise with any party attempting to take advantage of this issue. Firm action will be taken, including licence cancellation, if any legal violations are found,” the statement said.

Farmers and consumers are encouraged to submit complaints or information about any legal violations officially to KPKM through the KPB complaint portal at https://skpb.kpkm.gov.my/adu, via email at [email protected], or through the hotline at 03-88701751/1748/1183.

This comes in response to claims by the Malaysian Rice Manufacturers Association chairman Marzukhi Othman about the existence of a rice cartel or mafia monopolising the country’s rice industry.  – Bernama, January 4, 2024.



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