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May 2024

A million rice bags in market, but few available in some shops

GEORGE TOWN: There may be an extra 10 million kg of local rice in the market but there are shops and supermarkets still feeling the pinch, with retailers saying the supply they get is not enough while wholesalers claim they are running out of stock.

A grocery shop owner, Mohamed Zahid Mohamed Khair, 35, said he kept calling his suppliers for more rice.

“We used to receive about 300kg of local white rice per delivery, but now we get about 100kg.”

Gama Supermarket and Departmental Store in Jalan Datuk Keramat has more imported rice to sell than local rice.

Its manager Neoh Kean Bin said the establishment received fewer bags of local rice than previously.

“We used to get 1,000kg easily. Now, we only get a few bags.”

He said his team was now monitoring the demand for local rice on a day-to-day basis to ensure they could meet demand.

On Thursday, the Agriculture and Food Security Minister said 1,027,739 bags of 10kg local white rice were distributed to retailers to ease the shortage.

Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu had been responding to a question by Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah), who asked about the current status of rice supplies.

Mohamad Sabu said rice came from the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) and Farmer’s Organisation Authority (LPP), as well as state wholesalers.

Sunshine Whole Mart Sdn Bhd marketing and communication manager Bryan Wong said they had not received any of the 10kg bags of local rice.

“Our stocks are from our regular rice suppliers, not from Fama,” he said.

In MELAKA, a wholesaler from Tangga Batu said there was a massive shortage of local white rice in the state, adding that his stock had “dried up”.

“We can’t meet the demand for the 10kg bags and the stocks have decreased significantly over the past few weeks,” said the wholesaler.

Retailers were also moaning over the shortage.

“We only get 30 bags of rice each time we place an order and the stock is replenished three weeks once compared to five days previously,” said a 36-year-old retailer from Kesidang. He said the 30 bags would be sold in just three days. QR Code

Published Date: October 28, 2023

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