Selangor Journal
Image for illustration purposes only. — Picture by BERNAMA

Mada: Smart SBB project can draw young people into padi farming

PENDANG, March 4 —The Ala Sekinchan Large-Scale Smart Padi Field Project (Smart SBB) introduced by the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) can attract young people to take up padi farming as a career, said MADA chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh.

He said the use of modern technology, including drones, in the project helps farmers manage crops more efficiently and provides for higher yields.

“Our Smart SBB has pioneers in specific crop areas, so naturally, young people with the right mindset, skills and desire can join.

“These young people can make a profession in the rice industry. If they can achieve a yield of seven tonnes per hectare in an area of 100 plots (28 hectares), this can encourage young people to consider padi cultivation as a profession,” he said.

He was this when met at the Kampung Gulau Smart SBB harvesting programme here which was officiated by Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu yesterday.

Ismail said the Smart SBB project, which is part of Mada’s initiative to support the ‘Gelombang Padi’ agenda, is to boost the development of the country’s padi and rice industry and increase its self-sufficiency ratio (SSR).

“Previously, the yield was five tonnes per hectare but it is now 7.8 tonnes per hectare based on the CCT (Crop Cutting Test) sample in the Smart SBB area. If the entire Mada area adopts Smart SBB and achieves the same 7.8 tonnes per hectare yield, we can achieve over 80 per cent SSR,” he said.

The Smart SBB project in Kampung Gulau is managed in an area of ​​almost 39 hectares involving 10 young farmers.

One of the participants, Mohamad Farid Shafie, 38, said the use of high-tech machinery and equipment makes the padi cultivation process easier and faster. It also helps to overcome the problem of labour shortage in the padi farming sector.

He said besides the use of technology, providing certain incentives to farmers can attract young people to join the padi cultivation sector while ensuring crop sustainability for the future.

“I cultivate padi on an area of ​​40 hectares, with over half being Smart SBB. Currently, the padi in Smart SBB has not been harvested yet, but I can see an improvement in the quality of the plants. I hope there will be an increase in yield,” he said.

— Bernama

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