‘State Moving In Right Direction To Be Self-Sufficient In Rice’

KUCHING: The state government is moving in the right direction by emphasising large-scale rice production to achieve self-sufficiency.

In stating this, Assistant Minister of Native Land Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn said the government is now vigorously putting in money to develop all areas in Sarawak which are suitable for paddy planting.

He noted that to date there are 66 irrigation schemes in the state, which include Skuduk Chupak (236 hectares), Tg Bijat (1,060 hectares), Daro in Mukah (1,575 hectares) and Asajaya in Samarahan (850 hectares).

He said there were also small irrigation schemes for wet paddy planting, which include the ones at Tanjung Purun (90 hectares), Sebubok Engkala (114 hectares) and Tanjung Seduru (58 hectares).

Sagah said all these irrigation schemes were implemented to increase paddy production and the income of farmers in the state.

Now, we don’t have enough rice for local consumption yet, but we are hoping that we have enough. That is why we have a programme to get all the identified areas fully planted with paddy so that we can achieve at least a self-sufficiency level.

Of course our target is to achieve export level, which is much better, he told a press conference after the declaration of MRQ 98 or Mardi Warna 98 as a new paddy variety by the Malaysian Agriculture Research Development Institute (Mardi) at Kampung Plaman Payang, Serian yesterday.

Sagah said Sarawak needs to increase its self-sufficiency of rice and eventually, for export.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Datuk Anthony Nogeh, who accompanied Sagah, urged Mardi to do more research and produce more new varieties especially those that mature very fast so farmers in Sarawak can go for at least two-cycle cultivation per year.

I want Mardi to produce more varieties that can increase the quantity. If the yield is high, we are also helping to increase the income of our farmers. That is important, he said

Source: The Borneo Post