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[January 26, 2014]
Govt allocates RM20m to Fama, Nekmat [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) PUTRAJAYA: The government has approved RM20 million to buy food items and sell them directly to consumers at lower prices.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said RM8 million had been allocated to the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) and RM12 million to the National Fishermen's Association of Malaysia (Nekmat) to buy essential commodities directly from farmers.
"Through this, we can stabilise the prices of grocery items that will be sold directly at 517 pasar tani sites, involving some 25,000 traders. We will increase the allocation should the need arise.
"What is important is that it is effective and consumers can benefit from it," he said after his walkabout at the pasar tani site in Presint 2 here yesterday.
Present were Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Fama chairman Tan Sri Badruddin Amiruldin.
Najib said the allocation to Fama and Nekmat would be used to stockpile selected commodities, adding that should there be a price increase, the two agencies would sell them at reasonable prices at pasar tani sites.
It was reported that Fama would begin the stockpiling of selected commodities in October to stabilise market prices in November and December, when the prices of such products were expected to rise.
Ismail said the selected food commodities for stockpiling included cabbages, tomatoes, red chillies, coconuts, red carrots, ginger, cencaru (hardtail scad), kembong (mackerel), tongkol (Albacore Tuna) and siakap (giant sea perch).
"The items were chosen based on several factors, such as whether they are main commodities with many usages, sensitive to fluctuations in supply, have alternatives for import and can be kept," he said, adding that the items could be sold between 20 and 30 per cent lower than market prices.
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