The import of fragrant rice can be reduced by as much as 40 per cent with the cultivation of MRQ 74 and MRQ 76 strains, said Malaysian Agriculture Research Development Institute (MARDI) director-general, Dr Abd Shukor Abd Rahman.
He said Malaysia currently imports 200,000 tonnes of fragrant rice valued at RM500 million annually.
“We realise the import of fragrant rice such Basmathi and Jasmine totalling?RM500 million a year is much too high,” he said at an Economic Transformation Programme function recently.
At the function, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had announced nine new entry point projects (EPPS) under the ETP which, combined with the 11?EPPs previously announced, would involve a total investment of RM14.74?billion. This figure is estimated to contribute RM20 billion to GNP and create?88,354 additional employment opportunities.
The planting of the two varieties of rices is among the projects in the?new EPPs.
Abd Shukor said the projects would be jointly undertaken by Mardi, Infoculture Sdn Bhd and Sime Darby.
There is no further information on Infoculture in this report.