Malaysia’s paddy and rice sector is one of the most assisted and subsidised industries within the country. The government intervenes in the sector to achieve three objectives: safeguarding national food security, boosting the economic well-being of low-income farmers and protecting consumers from high prices. With the paddy sector’s stagnating productivity growth and the subsidy programs presenting an ever-increasing burden, there is a call to review and recalibrate how we approach today’s challenges. Based on data collected from 125 farmers and numerous interviews with institutional officers, this study explores the efficacy of subsidies in Malaysia’s rice and paddy sector and its effect on farmers’ income, cost, yield and behaviour. This study provides viable recommendations that correct fiscal imbalances, improve allocative efficiency and mitigate adverse consequences for the poor.
Photos of the event can be downloaded here