Sabah rice stockpile to get extra month’s supply

Sabah politicians and NGOs are buying rice in bulk for distribution to outlying rural districts hit by the MCO.

KOTA KINABALU: An additional month’s supply of rice is being brought in, providing enough for four months, Beras Nasional Sabah said today.

Concerns about national rice supplies have increased on news that Vietnam is to suspend exports of the staple food.

“We have three months’ supply at present,” said Bernas East Malaysia operating chief Jasnih Daya. “There are an extra 16,000 tonnes of rice coming in soon. This is about a month’s worth of supply, and will increase our stockpiles to four months.”

Bernas has about 50,000 tonnes of rice stored in its warehouses around the state.

Sabah’s four million population consumes 25,000 tonnes of rice a month, with Bernas supplying 17,000 tonnes.

The rest come from local producers. Local output meets only 30% of the state’s demand.

Jasnih said Bernas was taking the opportunity to increase Malaysia’s rice stocks before the impending Vietnamese export ban.

Jasnih noted that NGOs and elected reps had bought food supplies, including rice, in bulk to help the needy who live in far-flung areas of Sabah.

“Due to this, there’s a possibility the amount of rice reaching the consumer market has been reduced.”

Jasnih said Bernas will continue to release enough rice supplies daily.