Date & Time: 2018-11-14 02:49:04
PETALING JAYA: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry targeted national padi production of between eight and ten tonnes per each hectare in future, said its minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub. He said the target could be achieved through the usage of modern technology and efficient deployment of manpower. He said the boost in agricultural productivity was part of the ministry’s vision in an effort to enhance the farmers’ income which would contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). “I made an observation and has no intention of denying efforts made by the previous administration (in adopting technology in agriculture). “However, we did not go far. Our padi (production) is currently at three to four tonnes per hectare. In China, Taiwan and Thailand for instance, the use of modern technology has helped in improving padi production of between eight and 10 tones per hectare. “I am not delusional. If we look at (padi farmers in) Sekinchan, Selangor as well as several padi fields managed by Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, the production has been enhanced with the assistance of technology and efficient human resources. “Through a strong team and the usage of latest technology, we want our padi fields to produce the same large quantity of padi,” he said during an interview with Malaysia Hari Ini (MHI) to promote the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA) 2018 exhibition on Thursday. Salahuddin said the usage of modern agriculture technology would increase the self-sufficiency rate from 70 per cent to between 75 and 80 per cent by 2023 and reduce the nation’s dependency on exported agriculture products. “Currently, we have 500 scientists at Mardi (Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute) and are currently gathering knowledge and expertise from countries like China in drone technology, green house and modern agriculture. “In the middle of Beijing city, there is a warehouse which produces vegetable for domestic use. All of these (technology and expertise) could be brought to Malaysia,” he said. Meanwhile, he said Maha 2018, which would be held from Nov 22 to Dec 2 would focus on new technologies such robotics and usage of drones.