ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor has seen an increase of about 30% in rice production between 2021 and 2022 compared to 2020 and 2021, says Datuk Zahari Sarip.
The state Agriculture, Agro-Based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman said that despite not being among the main rice-producing states, the Johor government continues to make it part of its agenda to be the southern rice bowl as one of the main focuses in ensuring food security.
“In general, the padi field area in Johor is small compared to main rice-producing states in the country such as Selangor, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. However, rice production is still a priority for the state government.
“In 2021, the average production of rice in Johor was 3.683 tonnes, which is more than the 3.2 tonnes national average standard that had been set.
“The production of rice during the main padi season between 2021 and 2022 was 6,225 tonnes, which is an increase of 30.1% compared to the main season between 2020 and 2021 where about 4,746 tonnes of rice were produced,” he said during the state assembly sitting here on Tuesday (Dec 6).
He said this in response to a question from Selamat Takim (BN-Sungai Balang) who asked whether the state government will focus on increasing rice production in an effort to ensure food security.
Zahari noted that there are 10 main padi fields in the state with a total area of 2,254.39ha.
“Five of the padi fields or about 842.97ha of the area are located in the Tangkak district, two or 549.38ha are in Mersing, one each in Batu Pahat (141.70ha) and Kluang (356.12ha),” he said, adding that there are about 875 rice farmers in the state.
Zahari also noted that the state government had carried out six programmes and projects totaling up to RM3.2mil this year as part of the effort to increase rice production.
“This includes incentives to provide tools for padi farming, improving the structure of paddy fields and management of the fields,” he said.