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Sanusi alleges plot to block state's plan to produce Kedah Rice

Publish date: Tue, 05 Mar 2024, 02:57 PM

ALOR STAR: Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor informed the state assembly today about an alleged plot by certain parties to block the state government's plan to produce Beras Kedah (Kedah Rice).

Sanusi claimed that after announcing the state's plan to produce rice cheaper than the current market price, there were attempts to make sure nobody sold rice to Kedah.

"Prior to this, the country faced a mess in the local rice industry. As a rice-producing state, we wish to produce our own rice). However, we are not allowed to control the production and the marketing of rice produce.

"When we announced our interest in producing Beras Kedah, there was a response to make sure nobody sells rice to Kedah," he said in responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Najmi Ahmad (Perikatan Nasional-Kupang) during the state assembly meeting at Wisma Darul Aman here today.

Najmi was asking about the state government's plan to ensure food security for Kedahans in the wake of fears over a future global food crisis.

Sanusi stressed that such blockage should be curbed as it reflected the "old-fashioned politics" in the country.

He pointed out that while the local rice industry was fully under the control of the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry, Kedah was always open to extending cooperation towards realising the Beras Kedah plan.

"I am confident that we can work with the Agriculture Department and the Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada), although from the political aspect, it is not as much as we had hoped for.

"There is still old-fashioned politics being practised to alienate the state government from the federal government agencies.

"I have to make this open reprimand in this noble house," he said.

Sanusi expressed his hope that all departments and agencies in Kedah would work closely to face the challenges of any future food crisis.

On Feb 18, Sanusi was reported to have said the state government would study the possibility of introducing "Kedah Rice" to ensure the people in the state had access to cheaper and sufficient supply of locally-produced white rice, hence emulating Terengganu's "Ganu Rice".

Sanusi was reported as saying that it was a rational suggestion since Kedah was the largest rice producer in the country, contributing 45 per cent of the national production.

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