PETALING JAYA: Additional funds and subsidies from Putrajaya will be needed in order for various states to develop padi planting areas, say two state executive councillors in charge of agriculture.
This comes after agriculture and food security minister Mohamad Sabu asked state governments to develop padi planting areas to increase rice production in the country and ensure the nation’s food security.
Melaka rural development, agriculture and food security committee chairman Dr Akmal Saleh said the federal government would have to channel additional subsidies for farmers to purchase fertilisers, seeds and pesticides.
While maintaining that he supported Mohamad’s call, Akmal said farmers could not survive without subsidies, especially if they were starting from scratch.
“For every one hectare of land, (the cost of producing) 1.5 tonnes of padi yield will be subsidised. If the government wants to increase this to two tonnes, the (cost to produce the) remaining 0.5 tonnes will have to be borne by the farmers.
“So this is what I’m asking the government to consider,” he told FMT. “If (additional) subsidies are given, then many farmers will be able to increase their padi production.”
Meanwhile, Selangor infrastructure and agriculture executive councillor Izham Hashim said a proposal would be submitted to Putrajaya for additional funds to prepare irrigation systems and treat plots of land to allow for padi farming.
He said the state committee had already determined the necessary infrastructure that would be needed to increase productivity and production of padi farms in Selangor.
“I think (the allocation required) will reach hundreds of millions (of ringgit),” he said.
Izham added that the Selangor government is looking at ways to boost padi production which had decreased by more than 50%.
“In the past, we could produce between 10 and 12 tonnes (of padi) per hectare, but now it’s four tonnes. So what’s more crucial is for us to bring our padi production back to 10 to 12 tonnes.”