SMALL-SCALE coconut planters have been urged to switch from planting the Malayan Tall coconut saplings to the Matag and Mawa varieties for better yields and higher returns, said Malaysia Nanban.
The paper quoted Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mah Siew Keong as saying that the smallholders could expect around 14,200 to 14,300 coconuts per hectare from the two varieties.
The Malayan Tall can only produce about 1,150 coconuts per hectare.
Mah added that the Matag and Mawa varieties could yield around 28,000 to 30,000 coconuts over 20 years, and the Malayan Tall only 7,700 to 9,300 coconuts in the same period.
The deputy minister, who was speaking in Bagan Datoh, Perak, said there were about 10,000 small-scale coconut planters in the country and the majority were still planting the Malayan Tall saplings.
Mah, who is Teluk Intan MP, said there were about 12,200 hectares of land planted with these coconuts and some of them had been around for more than 40 years.
Many of these smallholders had complained that they were just earning about RM350 per hectare from their yield.
Mah said with the planting of the Matag and Mawa varieties as well as another new variety, the sweet Pandan, the coconut planters can expect better yields within five years and better income.
Tamil Nesan reported that schools were now equipped with basic facilities with a conducive environment to inspire students to excel in their studies and extra-curricular activities.
This was why, in recent years, Tamil school students had shown better performance in both aspects, said the paper's executive director S. Velpari.
He was speaking at a laying of the foundation stone for the Mentari Estate Tamil school in Triang, Pahang.
In Klang, municipal councillor Alex Thiagarajan warned shopowners along Jalan Tengku Kelana not to block pathways with their goods.
He said the council was empowered to seize the goods of errant owners, reported Makkal Osai.
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