ALOR SETAR: The increase in the floor price of paddy to RM1,300 per metric tonne announced in the Budget 2024 has boosted farmers’ enthusiasm to increase production.
Mohd Farid Ahmad, 35, a farmer from Alor Setar, said although the increase is not big, it helps the farmer, to some extent, to cover the rising cost of paddy crops at the moment.
“It didn’t go up very much from RM1,200 per tonne set previously to RM1,300 per tonne, but at least there is an increase which means there is a little more income.
“However, if it can be increased to RM1,500 per tonne, I think it would be much better and would provide more relief to farmers who have to face the increase in various operating costs,” said Mohd Farid, who cultivates about two hectares of paddy in Simpang Empat.
At the tabling of the Budget 2024 in the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 13, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced an increase in the floor price of paddy to RM1,300 per tonne from RM1,200 per tonne to help farmers’ income.
Meanwhile, another farmer, Abu Bakar Kasim, 57, appealed to the government to conduct a census and review the increase in costs faced by farmers, in addition to introducing new initiatives to increase farmers’ income.
“What the government has announced is very much appreciated, plus the increase in the Paddy Price Subsidy Scheme (SSHP) rate to RM500 per tonne (from RM350 per tonne previously) can also help ease operating costs and inject our enthusiasm. However, if there is another initiative (introduced by the government) we will be very grateful,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pertubuhan Persaudaraan Pesawah Malaysia (PeSawah) executive council (exco) member, Abdul Rashid Yob, said that the increase in the floor price to RM1,300 per metric tonne for rice purchases was indeed a relief to farmers, but he hoped that there would be additional increases announced by the government later.-Bernama