Paddy cartel controls industry - SanusiROSLINDA HASHIM
ALOR SETAR - A paddy cartel has allegedly existed for a long time in this country's paddy industry, which hurts paddy yields and farmers' income from increasing along with technological advancement.
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor claimed that the cartel will act silently and go unnoticed in controlling the industry and exploiting while earning double the profit while farmers continue to be squeezed by poverty.
According to him, it is also one of the reasons why people are now facing a shortage of local white rice in the market.
"For a clearer picture, what happens is that when it is announced that the price of imported rice is getting more expensive and out of control, the local rice cartel will convert the local rice stock into imported rice," he told Sinar today.
Sanusi said that the would earn the cartel group a profit compared to selling local white rice which was set at a price of RM26 per ten kilogrammes (per sack).
"Local rice is sold at RM26 compared to imported rice which goes up to RM39. It is not impossible for fraud to occur by changing the package or label of local white rice to imported white rice and selling it at the retail price of imported white rice.
"Changing packaging is not hard work compared to being on a paddy field, so the rice cartel only needs to copy the packaging," he revealed.
According to him, it will then cause local rice prices to decrease and trigger a supply polemic besides an increase in the price of rice in the market.
"That's how the cartels and 'dragons' lead the government. It's not a possibility anymore (the existence of paddy cartel), it does exist," he stressed.
Last Friday, Bernas adjusted the sale price of imported white rice nationwide from RM2,350/ per tonne to RM3,200/ per tonne in line with the latest price of imported white rice in the international market.
This caused imported rice to become more expensive while local rice supply decreases due to a high demand.
It is also believed that a few irresponsible manufacturers or wholesalers allegedly changeth e package or label of local white rice to imported white rice.
In May 2022, Sanusi once raised the possibility of a paddy cartel following a paddy planting model worked on by the Kedah Zakat Board (LZNK) capable of achieving a yield of 7.8 tonne per hectare compared to the current average rice yield of six tonne per hectare.
According to him, the difference in rice yield is suspicious because both use the same source, seed and irrigation.
Sanusi then declared a war against the paddy cartel in the state