Sunday 17 December 2023

The cold paddy seed war brewing in Malaysia.

COME April 2024, one of these words ; emergency, catastrophe, tragedy and crisis is going to be used for the rice shortage disaster heading our way.

ALMOST hidden or perhaps completely under reported is the cold war brewing between paddy seed producers and paddy farmers especially the ones located in the Northern Malay heartland of Kedah and Perlis.

AT the heart of the matter is the tug of war going on, with private padi seed producers and their 456 agents refusing to sell subsidised seeds to the Farmers' Area Organisations (PPKs) PPKs for distribution to farmers in Kedah.

AS a result, most of the September planting session in Kedah did not take place. Those who managed to get hold of the certified seeds, having had to pay between RM55  and RM70 per 20kg, higher than the RM45 ceiling price imposed by the government.

ONE of the main reasons for this so called man made private sector paddy seed shortage crisis is the government's insistence of READ : restricting the private certified paddy seeds providers to just eight players, of which if a comprehensive due diligence is done would reveal that Bernas may have either a direct or indirect stake.

ONE of the solutions of Bersatu's mouthpiece, MalaysiaNow is downright shocking. Do note that BERSATU was a recipient of READ :Syed Mokthar's RM195 million no questions asked, do as you please donation to the political party

MALAYSIA NOW's solution among others is for the country to look into importing rice from READ :  Uganda where 42 million people live with less than US$7 a day or from the military junta in Myanmar.

THE government should actually pierce open this market, from being oligopolistic in nature to the free market, which in the long term will not only bring seed prices down, but could also help in providing greater yields in the farmland.