RM410.39m irrigation scheme to boost agricultural sector in Kota Belud, says minister

Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee signing the plaque during the inauguration ceremony of the Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) complex in Kota Belud, June 12, 2022. – Bernama peak

Sunday, June 12, 2022 2:37 PM MYT

KOTA BELUD, June 12 – The government is developing an irrigation and drainage system in the district at a cost of RM410.39 million to address water issues as well as boost the agricultural sector in the region, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Seri. Dr. Ronald Kiandee.

He said it covers 17 development projects and involves modernization of irrigation and drainage system, construction of major canals and roads as well as other infrastructure, which is expected to be completed by 2030.

“Developing this infrastructure will definitely benefit farmers in terms of increasing yield and achieving Sabah’s Rice Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) targets of 60%…which is currently at 24%,” said he declared.

He said this during the official SMART Large Scale Padi Field (SMART SBB) Program and Groundbreaking Ceremony for the development of Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) complex in Kampung Jawi-Jawi , here today.

The SMART SBB program in Kota Belud is under the supervision of Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas), involving a total of 40 farmers with a cultivation area of ​​45 hectares.

“I am confident that the strategic collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) and this leading company will be the starting point to change the landscape of the local paddy and rice industry.

“The implementation of SMART SBB will increase the productivity of the country’s paddy and rice production through the involvement of the leading company…the initiative will help increase farmers’ incomes and reduce dependence on intermediaries,” he said.

Ronald said one of the initiatives was the SMART SBB which was specifically designed as a new direction for the country’s paddy and rice sector, to increase productivity by reaching 75 percent SSL for rice as stipulated in Malaysia’s 12th Plan (12MP) thus reducing import dependency.

“SMART SBB has been proven to increase the average paddy yield per hectare in Selangor and Sarawak. For the recent season in Sekinchan, Selangor, paddy fields over 100 hectares managed to increase the average yield almost 3 times from 2.5 metric tons per hectare to 8-10 metric tons per hectare,” a- he declared.

During the event, Ronald also announced the government’s allocation of RM36 million in 2022 for the construction of the IADA complex in Kota Belud.

“The development project, which is expected to be completed during the 12MP period, is divided into two stages, namely earthworks and construction of the complex,” he added. — Bernama

Lana T. Arthur