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Covid-19 Is Pushing Malaysia To Grow More Of Its Own Rice

Covid-19 Is Pushing Malaysia To Grow More Of Its Own Rice

Malaysians consumed on average 80kg of rice per person, a year.

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Malaysia plans to cultivate more paddy fields to increase rice production and reduce reliance on imports.

Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ronald Kiandee explained that the country is working to modernize the industry besides developing new paddy fields and improving upon existing ones.

Rice is a staple food product that’s synonymous with our culture. Even the word “paddy” itself comes from its Malay translation, padi.

The Covid-19 crisis had recently raised concerns over Malaysia’s food security.

But, the government promised that the nation’s rice stockpile would be enough to meet our domestic demand.

Jangan bimbang, bekalan beras cukup | Harian Metro
(Harian Metro/NSTP)

According to a report by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI), between the nasi lemak, bihun, laksa, kuihs, and other riced-based products we eat almost every day,  Malaysians had consumed an average of 80kg of rice, per person, in 2016.

This translates to RM44 spent per month on rice for each Malaysian household.

Being a rice-producing country, most of our rice goes to fulfill local demand, with around another 2% imported from other nations to meet our needs.

In 2018, Malaysia had imported 740,000 tonnes of rice amounting to RM1.18 billion.

variety of food on table
(Haryo Setyadi/Unsplash)

It’s said that 38% of the county’s rice comes from the northern parts of the peninsular, where states like Kedah and Perlis are referred to as Malaysia’s “rice bowl”.

KRI also points out that Malaysia has been trailing behind our Asian neighbors in the global rice market.

Figures show that Malaysian rice productions had remained static since the ’90s.


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