SEBERANG PERAI: The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) plans to collaborate with private bodies to replicate and implement the Paddy Estate Management Model (EMM) in abandoned paddy fields in the northern states, given its success.
Chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq said the new initiative would involve 2,000 hectares of abandoned paddy estates in Perlis, Penang, Kedah and Northern Perak, in phases.
He said the State Farmers Organistion (PPN) Penang was the first among other PPN to implement the EMM, benefiting almost 550 farmers.
“The EMM here, covering over 1,000 hectares of land, has successfully increased paddy output by 62.5 per cent to 6.5 metric tonne per hectare, since the programme was launched last year, and is on track to achieve the target of eight metric tonne per hectare by 2017.
“The total expenditure for the EMM PPN Penang is RM2.3 million, while the total cost for all programmes, including the other three northern states is RM8.215 million,” he told reporters at the Padi Harvesting Ceremony for the EMM here.
The programme was officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.
Redza said the programme was in line with NCIA’s goal of transforming the northern corridor into a modern food zone, as well as efforts to increase national food security.
To ensure the availability of steady human resources, he said the NCIA was in discussion with the government to establish an initiative to train the younger generation for the industry, considering the current aging population of paddy farmers.
Last year, the NCIA managed to garner RM12.3 billion in private sector investments, with 39 per cent of it comprising local private investors, while creating over 16,335 job opportunities.
“This year, we’re targeting a conservative RM10 billon worth of private sector investment in the north, of which, 25 per cent will be local investors.
“We’ve also committed to half-a-billion ringgit in terms of economic opportunities for the small and medium enterprises,” Redza added. — Bernama