Rice is our staple food and central to our culture. Thus it is dismaying to learn that almost 100,000ha of paddy land in Peninsular Malaysia has been converted in the past 15 years, arising in increase in rice imports to meet local needs.
The Malaysian government’s ill-defined development strategies and pursuance of export earnings has brought us to the stage that we have to import more rice and food. Over the years our paddy land has been paved over with highways, factories, houses; converted for aquaculture, oil palm plantations, and cash crops; all in the name of progress.
The project has been undertaken in a highly suspicious manner and we call on the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and the State Government of Perak to take full responsibility for this dangerous situation, as well as take immediate measures to rehabilitate the paddy fields in order to safeguard the food security of Malaysians.
Datuk Seri Noh Omar was commenting on CAP’s call that the Ministry cancels the arowana breeding project that would adversely affect paddy growing area in the Kerian District and involves widespread water pilfering from the irrigation canals. The project will also affect the water supply of 200,000 residents in nearby towns.
The recent steep rise in wheat prices has raised fears of another global food crisis. It is the banks and hedge funds speculating on the price of food that are primarily responsible for this spike in prices.
In just one month in July 2010, the price of wheat increased by 60%. The huge increase in the price has already led to people across the world paying more for the staple food. The sudden change in the price of wheat has had knock-on effects on other crops. The global maize price increased by 40% between the start of July and the end of August.