Brace for extreme weather, rice industry told

PENDANG: Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu has urged the Malaysian rice industry to brace for hotter weather next year.

The Agriculture and Food Security Minister said the ongoing heatwave has affected rice production, leading to reduced yields.

The minister emphasised the need for proactive measures in anticipation of extreme weather conditions.

“The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute could conduct studies on crop schedules,” he told reporters after visiting the Smart Large-Scale Padi Field Harvesting programme in Sekinchan here yesterday.

According to Mohamad, this year’s padi yield is expected to be around 62%, with the prolonged hot weather over the past three years adversely affecting production, Bernama reported.He said that efforts would continue to ensure padi production across the country reaches a level of 10 tonnes per hectare.

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

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

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