Friday, 15 May 2009

RM73mil to boost padi production in Sarawak

KUCHING: The Federal Govern­ment has allocated nearly RM73mil to fund large-scale padi cultivation in Sarawak.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said RM52.8mil would be used to build basic drainage and irrigration infrastructure in five of the eight areas earmarked for the projects.

He said the eight areas, covering a combined 43,000ha, were targeted to produce over 200,000 tonnes of padi a year.

Dr Chan, who is also state Agricul­ture Modernisation Minister, said the state’s rice consumption was about 220,000 tonnes a year, and that it only produced 54% of the rice it required.

He told Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (BN — Asajaya) during question time that RM20mil would be used to develop a seed processing complex and ancillary facilities.

“The state government has acquired 166ha in Stumbin for the development of a certified seed production and processing centre. About 58ha of the land has been cleared.

“The construction of the proposed complex is scheduled to start next year for completion in early 2011,” he added.