A total of 60,000 bags for the state’s emergency rice reserve have been stored so far in the warehouses in Kyaukse and Myohaung warehouse in Amarapura Township of Mandalay, owned by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Commerce, according to Mandalay supervision unit for the storage of emergency rice reserve.
The warehouses in Kyaukse have received to the fullest capacity of 50,599 bags between 3 and 26 May. The remaining 9,401 bags have been systematically stored in Myohaung warehouse in Amarapura Township since 28 May.
“The rice reserve scheme is for emergency case during the pandemic. The exporters must sell 10 per cent of total export volume as country’s reserved rice. More than 50,000 rice bags have been kept in four warehouses in Kyaukse to the fullest capacity. Later, over 9,000 bags are continued to be sent to Myohaung warehouse in Mandalay”, said U Myint Zaw Oo, director of the regional Department of Consumer Affairs.
In order to ensure the self-sufficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government will spend K38 billion to purchase foodstuff (50,000 tonnes of rice and 12,000 tonnes of palm oil), said Dr Than Myint, Union Minister for Commerce.
The state’s emergency rice reserve is to keep the price stable in domestic market, lessen the worries of the consumers, offer the emergency rice to the people at much fairer price, ensure food security to the people when natural disaster occurs, support ASEAN Emergency Rice Reserve and aid the victims in the time of adversity, export them through private entrepreneurs when the new paddy is harvested, and not to harm the rice production of farmers due to the price fall.
The supervision units for the storage of emergency rice reserve are formed in Yangon and Mandalay regions.
The government has reserved about 2,200 tonnes of rice within a month, according to press statement of Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) on 28 May.
The Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar Inspection and Testing Service (MITS), the authorized organization of the State and MRF implemented rice reserve scheme on 30 April. The state has purchased about 2,2000 tonnes of rice from 80 companies as of 27 May, in line with the set rules and regulations.
The Yangon Region government receives the reserve rice proportioned by sea trade, while some per cent of the border export will be stored at the Consumer Affairs Department in Mandalay Region.
Local market constitutes over 70 per cent of production, whereas some portion of the remaining is sent to foreign market and some of them are left for rice reserve. —Hteik Htar Naing / Ko Khant (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)