KEPALA BATAS: Padi farmers in the country are enjoying a bumper harvest this season with yields increasing by about 50%, bringing them a step closer to the countrys target of producing 10 metric tonnes for every hectare.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar said yesterday most farmers produced an average of 7tonne/ ha this season compared to the previous 4.5tonne/ha.
This is good news because the Government has set a target of producing 10tonne/ha by the year 2005.
This seasons bumper harvest shows that farmers now understand the importance of producing bigger and better yields as we strive to be self sufficient in padi production.
Farmers have moved from traditional farming by using modern methods and better fertilizers, he said after visiting the Bernas Production Sdn Bhd padi complex in Paya Keladi here yesterday.
Early this week, there was a massive congestion of lorries outside the Kepala Batas granary. The complex, with a maximum capacity of 400 tonnes daily, could not cope with the production which shot up to about 600 tonnes daily.
The congestion was also due to farmers preferring Bernas complexes to private ones because Bernas offered reasonable deduction rates of between 17% and 19%,.
Lorry drivers come late at night hoping to be the first in line when the complex opens at 7am the next day, he said.
Mohd Shariff said Bernas had redirected most of the delivered supply to other complexes in Perak and Selangor to ease congestion.
He said the company had also extended its operating hours to 12.
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