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A pilot project to plant rice five times over two years starting in September

Updated: Jun 27

By Nor Fazlina Abdul Rahim (BHOnline) - June 11, 2023

Mohamad Sabu (right) during a price survey of daily necessities and reasonable price tags at the Tunjong Rural Transformation Center (RTC) - Photo NSTP/NIK ABDULLAH NIK OMAR

KOTA BHARU: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will start a pilot project to plant rice five times in two years involving an area of 30,000 hectares starting this September.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, said for a start, his party would focus on the Young Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) area first before expanding to other areas.

"The area of MADA is 100,000 hectares, but for this five-season project we are starting with 30,000 hectares of land first.

"We will make sure that the irrigation system is improved so that it can supply water all the time. We also believe that new technology and diverse and tested rice seeds can further increase rice yields.

"If you look at the highest rice yield in Malaysia is in Sekinchan where they get seven to 12 tons of rice per hectare.

"For MADA and the Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (KADA) they only got around five tons," he said.

He said this at a press conference after visiting the Tunjung Rural Transformation Center (RTC). Also present was the Director of the Kelantan Federal Agricultural Marketing Board (FAMA), Wan Faizatul Aniza Ismayatim.

Earlier, the media reported that the government was considering a proposal to increase rice production through a five-season cultivation method within two years, in addition to agreeing to the implementation of a closed livestock system for productive and safe farm management.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, informed that the two matters were discussed at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Food Security Policy (JKSMN), yesterday.

He said that among the matters discussed was the proposal to increase the productivity of rice cultivation through the five-season cultivation method within two years and that the government would evaluate the implementation method to ensure that the proposal could be realized immediately.

Commenting further, Mohamad said that if what he did saw the rice yield increase, he would expand to other areas including KADA.

"I am confident that with the new technology, we will do it on a larger scale and plant rice five times in two years, we will be able to reach the Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) of rice production.

"We may only import expensive rice. To reach that direction, we want farmers to be ready to make changes by implementing rice on a larger scale," he said.

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