PASIR PUTEH, May 21 — The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry will ask the Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (KADA) and the Muda Agriculture Development Authority (MADA) to begin planting high-quality local fragrant padi soon.
Its minister, Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said the MRQ76 variety which had been planted on a trial basis in Kampung Bendang Kolam, Tembusu, Selising here had proven to be on par with rice from Thailand and Vietnam.
“The trial cultivation turned out successful and studies showed that the rice was of high quality and on par with imported rice.
“I will propose that KADA and MADA plant this rice on a large scale basis so that it can be produced locally,” he told reporters after a dialogue session and launch of the padi harvest here today.
Also present were KADA chairman, Senator Datuk Husam Musa and chairman of the Kelantan Fragrant Rice Operators’ Association Zailan Awang.
Salahuddin said to encourage farmers to plant the fragrant rice, his ministry would provide the same subsidy as that given to other padi planters.
“Farmers who grow this fragrant rice will enjoy the same subsidy, and this is the first time we are introducing this because before, fragrant padi growers did not get it,” he said.
Salahuddin said the price of this fragrant rice could increase the farmers’ incomes as every five kilogrammes could fetch RM40 compared to RM15 for ordinary padi. — Bernama