ARAU, Aug 21 — Agreement between farmers and good farming practices can boost the country’s rice and paddy production in the future, said Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.
He said this was evident in the Large-Scale Smart Paddy Field (SMART SBB) Mini Sekinchan Mada Programme which could also reduce the country’s dependence on rice imports.
“This was one of the preliminary efforts taken by the government before the RM3 billion Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) infrastructure irrigation project was implemented to increase rice production to five seasons within two years,” he told reporters at the SMART SBB Mini Sekinchan Mada Agro Madani programme at Kampung Lat 1000 today.
Mohamad said the project was successful as seen in Kampung Lat 1000 full and quality rice yields.
“The highest yielding strain of rice in Malaysia is produced in Sekinchan, where 12 tonnes of paddy can be harvested per hectare, while over here we are able to harvest about 10 tonnes per hectare.
“If every farmer can produce seven tonnes per hectare, I am confident we will able to reduce our dependence on rice imports in the future,” he said.
He said we must make immediate efforts to ensure that the country’s rice supply is always adequate, adding this has been the government’s focus apart from helping to increase farmers’ income.
He said he had also given instructions for the use of smaller and lighter rice mill machines to avoid spillage.
“Today we can see that paddy spillage has lessened and wastage has been reduced by eight per cent, “ he said.
The SMART SBB Mini Sekinchan Mada-Bernas paddy farming project in Kampung Lat 1000 covers a land area of 97.70 hectares with 28 participants. — Bernama