The year-end rice harvest by the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) has helped ease the local white rice supply shortage in the country, said Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

He said however, the local rice supply in the country has not yet been fully stabilised, as consumer demand remained high.

‘There is still (a shortage of local white rice) but the issue has eased…our rice (self-sufficiency rate) is only 65 per cent, this local rice is in demand because the price of imported rice is expensive,’ he told reporters after visiting the AU2 Taman Keramat Community Garden here today.

MADA, according to Mohamad, is also in the process of replanting padi for next year’s supply.

Meanwhile, he encouraged city residents to get involved in food security efforts by opening community gardens in appropriate open spaces.

Mohamad said that open spaces near residential areas could be utilised by planting cash crops such as chilli and lemongrass that would benefit the local community.

He added that the government, through the Prime Minister’s Department, had allocated RM1 billion for community development projects, including agriculture.

At the same time, Mohamad advised those interested in urban farming activities to obtain approval from their respective local authorities to avoid any disruption to the existing infrastructure.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, through Budget 2024, announced an allocation of RM1 billion under the MADANI Community Fund to support efforts to boost the community economy.

Through the initiative, each village, longhouse and People’s Housing Project (PPR) will be allocated a maximum fund of RM100,000 to start economic projects, such as handicrafts or hydroponics.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency