Rice in Malaysia is an important commodities and third importance after Oil Palm and Rubber. Increase private sector participation in the breeding segment8. MARDI has established and led the plant breeding work since the early 1970s with recognised achievements. Having said this, Malaysia is still slow in the release of new varieties. Over 50 years, India produced >1,900 varieties, the Philippines >200 and Thailand >80. Malaysia released less than 50 varieties. The segment may benefit from encouraging private sector participation, which can be achieved by: (1) improving transparency and accessibility (especially web-based) to the breeding and seed production standards and processes; and (2) review the membership of the Jawatankuasa Teknikal Bantuan Kerajaan kepada Industri Padi dan Beras (JKTBKKIPB) to avoid conflicts of interests. Strengthen the linkage between the production (farm) and midstream players through contract farming. Leveraging on the resources of the midstream players and the production capacity of the farmers, a shared-risk approach may help improve farm management, extension programmes and trust. Achieve a win-win outcome: in return for providing capacity building to the farmers, the buyers attain a steady supply of grains at the desired quality. With higher yield, improved grain quality and a secured buyer, farmers’ net profit (income) may be improved.
Malaysia may continue to be a net importer of rice, and this should not be viewed as a failure of the industry. Statistical trends, geography and consumer preferences for premium rice means that Malaysia is likely to continue being a net importer. Considering this, the nation may be in a better position not to target 100% SSL, but with domestic rice produced sustainably, responsibly, safely and where farmers earn a sustainable income. Invisible consumption. Migrants living in Malaysia are an important source of labour and contribute towards the nation’s economic growth. It is not possible for the country to meet the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ‘leaving no one behind’ if the basic needs of the migrants such as their staple food, are not met. Unfortunately, their rice consumption pattern is not fully understood. Based on KRI’s calculations, around 228,899 MT of rice was consumed by 2.1 million documented workers. The actual consumption that includes undocumented migrants can be more. Meaning that the actual portion of rice consumed by migrants is not known. The issue with invisible consumption should be addressed if we hope to protect vulnerable communities. Thanks!.
Taman Cendana, Bandaraya Melaka,
(29 Syaaban 1440H).