KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — More and more paddy planters are keen to participate in the Mini Sekinchan Large-Scale Smart Paddy Project (Smart SBB) which has proven successful in increasing rice yields.
“It means more income which can also attract the interest of the younger generation to grow rice. (Farmers) in Sekinchan have proven that with knowledge and technology, they can harvest up to 10 metric tonnes per hectare (t/ph) to give farmers higher income after deducting the capital for the planting season,” Muhammad Awang Kechik, 68, a paddy planter with four hectares at Kampung Setajam in Rompin, Pahang, told Bernama.
Meanwhile, most rice farmers in Perlis hope the Smart SBB Mini Sekinchan project, which was started in Kampung Lat 1000 in Arau, will continue to be expanded to other areas.
A farmer in Kampung Mengkuang Layar, Mohd Syafiq Yusof, 42, said he was excited with Smart SBB which can yield up to 10.45 t/ph compared to the old method with five t/ph a season.
Rice farmer Pak Ya, 50, rated the project in Kampung Lat 1000 as the best example, proving that rice yields can increase with the right agricultural practices.
According to the Muda Agricultural Development Board (MADA), the project was implemented in Kampung Lat 1000, Simpang Empat in Perlis and Kampung Tok Mengkula in Kedah over 172,968 ha.
Head farmer of Kampung Tok Saboh in Terengganu, Jusoh Ismail, 54, welcomed the government’s pilot project adding that currently, 400 ha are cultivated in Kampung Tok Saboh and Pengkalan Nangka, yielding only two tonnes per season — just enough to feed the people in Besut district.
A farmer in Kampung Kederang, Zulkifli Mat Zain, thinks the government needs to find another method so that the rice crop can be harvested more quickly to meet growing demand.