PASIR SALAK, Sept 22 — The implementation of the Large-Scale Smart Paddy Field (SMART SBB) programme by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (Mafi) is capable of minimising the adverse impact of floods during the monsoon seasons.

Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee said the flooding may be inevitable but efforts to minimise the adverse impact of the floods could be done through the coordination of paddy field management systems using a clustering approach, which was proven efficient.

“Through this programme, paddy farmers will cultivate their paddy fields as a team and in a more systematic way through the participation of private sectors or industry players so that the impact of the floods on their paddy fields could be reduced compared to when working individually.

“At the same time, the programme would also help improve the quality and production of paddy in the country,” he told reporters after launching the SMART SBB programme at Seberang Perak Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) near here today.

Also present were Pasir Salak Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Perak Women and Family Development, Community Welfare and Non-Governmental Organisation Committee chairman Datuk Wan Norashikin Wan Noordin.

Ronald said the government always provides allocations to help farmers to deal with disasters through the Rice Crop Disaster Fund (TBTP).

“The government has allocated RM23 million specifically to the agricultural sector affected by natural disasters nationwide, but the funds distributed differ according to the seasons and impacts.

“The aid is not only provided by the government to paddy farmers but also farmers of livestock and other crops, all in a bid to alleviate the burdens of those in the agro-food sectors,” he said.

The minister said Mafi had also made early preparations to face the monsoon season expected at the end of this year by carrying out continuous monitoring of high-risk areas and enhancing the maintenance of its existing assets.

“Based on past experience, we are better prepared this year in terms of control rooms and operations to reduce the impact on those involved in the food sector,” he added. — Bernama