PEKAN: The Federal Government has been urged to carry out an in-depth study on ways to enable padi farmers in Pahang achieve higher yields.
Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said the study was necessary to help the state government realise its aim of making Pahang one of the country’s top rice producer.
He said presently, efforts by farmers in the Kampung Pahang Tua and Endau-Rompin areas to plant padi twice a year were still unsuccessful.
“I believe the main problem lies in the irrigation system, resulting in them not able to increase their production.
“I hope the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries can carry out a comprehensive study to identify and resolve the problem.
“Once the irrigation is more efficiently, I am confident our farmers can produce much higher yields,” he said after attending a harvesting ceremony during his official visit to Kampung Pahang Tua here recently.
Also present were state exco member Datuk Ishak Muhammad and Peramu Jaya assemblyman Wan Iqbal Afdza Wan Abdul Hamid.
Tengku Abdullah said several farmers in the area had informed him that they had tried planting two crops of padi a year but failed and ended up incurring losses.
“In the early 1970s, the Asian Development Bank had offered loans to develop Endau-Rompin as a barn top rice-producing area but the project did not materialise.
“Actually, areas in Kampung Pahang Tua, Merchong and Endau-Rompin have the potential to be developed if all parties work towards it,” he said.
Tengku Abdullah said Pahang had several advantages as it had abundant resources and its rivers could be diverted to channel water to padi fields.
“However, I understood that there may be some technical problems due to the geography which could hinder the process of channelling the water,” he added.
He said farmers and the relevant authorities should also look at ways to improve their methods to keep up with the times and technological advancements.
“If there is no concerted efforts by all parties, then the Government’s aims to develop the agriculture sector and increase food production will not succeed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wan Iqbal said Kampung Pahang Tua was the biggest contributor to padi production in the Pekan district, which had an average annual production of 6,000 tonnes from 2,752ha of land used for the crop.
Out of this area, 49% or 1,353ha are situated in his constituency of Peramu Jaya, comprising Kampung Pahang Tua and Langgar.
“These areas have been developed since 1914 and depend fully on underground water supply.
“In 2002, the Government allocated RM5.9mil through the Ministry of Agriculture Inc in stages to develop the infrastructure here he said, adding that the allocation was used to upgrade drainage, roads and floodgates