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

Mohamad Sabu urges padi industry to brace for hotter weather next year

PENDANG, Mar 3 — Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu has urged the Malaysian rice industry to brace for hotter weather conditions forecasted for next year.

He highlighted the current negative impact of the ongoing heat phenomenon on rice production, leading to reduced yields.

Attributing the intense heat to the El Nino weather phenomenon, the minister emphasised the need for proactive measures in anticipation of extreme weather conditions.

“The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) could conduct studies on crop schedules and other measures (to address the conditions),” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the Smart Large-Scale Padi Field Harvesting programme (Smart SBB) in Sekinchan, organised by the Young Farmers’ Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) in Kampung Gulau, here today.

According to him, this year’s padi yield is expected to be around 62 percent, with the prolonged hot weather over the past three years affecting production adversely.

Mohamad further stated that efforts would continue to ensure padi production across the country reaches a level of 10 tons per hectare, similar to the achievements in Sekinchan, Selangor, and Kampung Lat Seribu in Perlis.

Plans are also underway to open new padi cultivation areas in Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah, and Sarawak, he added.

He informed that the government will announce the decision on the local white rice prices on March 20, following discussions with farmers and stakeholders in the rice industry last Thursday.

Mohamad mentioned that the government aims to ensure satisfaction among all parties, including consumers, manufacturers, and farmers during the upcoming National Action Council for Cost of Living (Naccol) meeting.

Today’s event was attended by Mada chairman, Datuk Dr. Ismail Salleh, Mardi chairman, Dr. Azman Ismail, and the Farmers’ Organisation Authority chairman, Datuk Mahfuz Omar.

—  Bernama

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