Updated: Jun 21
By Noorazura Abdul Rahman (BH Online)- May 28, 2023 @ 3:56pm
JITRA: The government is planning to research saltwater rice crops in an effort to increase production of this staple food in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, said initial talks had been held with relevant experts in China to gain insights and use of suitable technology.
"I met a professor in China, there are saltwater rice plants there and they got the appropriate seeds after four years of study and (through) eight seasons.
"At an early stage in the talks, the waterfront area that is rising water is not allowed to be used in the future with technology and expert views," he said.
He was met after a hands-on session with Businessman Harumanis Kodiang at the Field Collection Center, Kampung Pida 3, in Kodiang here today.
Asked about the reason for the lower rice yield in Kedah compared to Sekinchan, Selangor, Mohamad explained that the reason for this was irrigation, fertilizer and guarding.
He said, rice paddies in Sekinchan make working in the fields a real job and not part time. "When working on paddy fields, irrigation and steel systems should not be made on the side."
"They at Sekinchan make it a full-time job and we want to move in that direction in Kedah."
"If possible, farmers include large-scale (business) so that we can take better care of the rice fields."
"You can't blame the farmers because the irrigation system is important, we can't survive at five tonnes per hectare, in Sekinchan they get eight to 10 tonnes per hectare."
"If we get six tons and above we will have enough rice in Malaysia," he said.
Mohamad said that rice cultivation through large-scale schemes such as those in Sekinchan could be practiced by rice fields in Kedah as an effort to produce a lot of rice production with the help and cooperation of the Young Agricultural Development Institute (MADA) and Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS).