Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak´s launching of the National Rice Campaign marked the first time the Government had singled out a particular commodity for special treatment. This was because rice is the population´s staple and there was a great need to aim for self-sufficiency in view of servere shortages in world markets the previous few years. Plans for this National Rice Year were aimed at boosting rice production through mechanisation and conservation at all stages to reduce wastage.