Income reduced due to paddy farmers’ non-compliance with SOP, says Selangor exco

by carlosrapke1
Income reduced due to paddy farmers’ non-compliance with SOP, says Selangor exco

A general view of paddy fields at Tanjung Karang, Selangor July 11, 2023. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024 6:40 PM MYT

SHAH ALAM, Feb 28 — The Selangor State Legislative Assembly was told that the main reason for the income reduction in the north-west area is the failure of paddy farmers to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) for rice checks.

State Infrastructure and Agriculture Committee chairman Izham Hashim said this conclusion was reached after their study found no issues regarding infertile land in the area

In addition, he said planting different varieties of rice seeds within the same crop block led to variations in the maturity period and rice harvesting time.

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“Initially, I believed the land was infertile. However, after profiling all areas in Selangor northwest, we found no issues related to acidity except in the Sabak Bernam area, which suffers from a chronic water supply problem.

“The main issue I discovered is the farmers’ failure to adhere to the rice cultivation SOP. We have thoroughly studied this,” he said in reply to a question from Sallehen Mukhyi (PN-Sabak) on the farmers’ challenges in communicating with agricultural officers to express concerns about low rice yield.

Izham also informed that the current harvesting machinery has caused about a 20 per cent loss in rice yield and plans are underway to acquire new machinery to reduce losses by up to 10 per cent while safeguarding paddy field boundaries.

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Meanwhile, Izham said that Selangor’s rice yield increased by 16,853 tonnes, with 88,551 tonnes produced last year compared to 71,688 tonnes in 2022.

“Last year, 48,703 tonnes of rice were sold in the domestic market as local rice, representing 55 per cent of Selangor’s production and the remaining 38,488 tonnes were used as seedlings to support the country’s rice seed requirements,” he said.

In reply to a supplementary question from Mariam Abdul Rashid (PH-Meru) on efforts to develop new paddy fields, Izham said the state government’s priority is to enhance productivity in current areas rather than opening up new fields.

“Our rice cultivation spans over 19,000 hectares in the north-west area, but some land have been misused for other purposes, leaving us with only 17,740 hectares available.

“We’ve conducted studies and allocated RM1 billion to enhance irrigation systems and construct retention ponds for the fields. This plan will be submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security,” he added. — Bernama

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