‘Asean Rice Exporters Must Prioritise Us’

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Malaysia is expected to urge Asean’s main rice supplier nations to give priority to exporting the staple food to member countries at the 45th Asean Ministers’ Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF).

Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Chan Foong Hin said the matter would be raised during the AMAF, to be held here.

“Perhaps, at the bilateral sessions, we will raise it, just like how we want to further strengthen ties, so that priority is given to exporting rice to Asean countries.

“Discussions may be held with either Thailand or Vietnam,” he told reporters after representing Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu during the event’s launch yesterday, Bernama reported.

Commenting on the White Rice Integrated Operations, Chan said comprehensive inspections at all levels of the padi and rice industry chain would begin at any time.

On Tuesday, Mohamad, when launching the operation, said it would involve padi and rice regulatory bodies, the ministry, police, Customs Department, and Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Service Department.

Earlier in his remarks, Chan said the sustainability of agricultural and forestry sectors – vital to the livelihoods of millions of people in Asean – faces imminent threats from climate change, overfishing, unsustainable agricultural practices and food wastage.

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