KUALA TERENGGANU, Jul 24 – The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry views seriously allegations by some quarters of fraud on the percentage of broken rice content by Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS) in its products as spread on social media.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the ministry had identified the blog which started the issue and would investigate the matter. He said he have asked the regulatory officers to check on the allegation and found it not true. He said he is willing to listen if there are quarters who produce evidence so that action can be taken.
He told this to reporters after a gathering with fishermen here today. Also present were Fisheries Director-General Datuk Ismail Hassan and State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Plantation and Commodities Committee chairman Nawi Mohammad. In another development, he said the use of Turtle Excluder Device (TED) would be made a condition in the issuing of licence for trawling during the monsoon season for fishermen beginning this November.
He said the use of ‘Smile TED’, which was specially designed by researchers at the Fisheries Department, was aimed to increase the fishermen’s income, as well as to save the turtles and other mammals from being trapped in the trawl net. In additional, he also added that for a start, they will hold an awareness campaign and give away the Smile TED free for fishermen. — Bernama