Friday, June 25

Minister: Revive Sabah Padi Board?


Junz Wong

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry is looking positively into the possibility of reviving Sabah Padi Board.

It’s minister Junz Wong said a technical team would be set up to study and look at every aspects and views before any decision is made.

“We will also look at the reasons and causes why Sabah Padi Board was previously liquidated, he said in a statement today.

In responding to call for the re-establishment of the Board, Junz explained that requirement and financial capital are very important.

“I agree that the re-establishment of Sabah Padi Board which was dissolved in 1981 is an essential component of rural development and in uplifting the wellbeing of the padi farmers,” he reiterated.

Prior to the dissolution of Sabah Padi Board, Sabah achieved 70 per cent rice production and today it’s achievement is around 26 per cent.

In view of the global environmental issues which may have detrimental effect on global rice production, there were several calls for re-establishment of Sabah Padi Board as rice is a security commodity.

Junz said, “In re-establishing Sabah Padi Board we have to look into many aspects. These may include production, processing, marketing and import of rice.”

“As water is the most important component in rice production we have to refurbish and upgrade our irrigation system, if we are to set up the board,” he stressed.

“We may also have to look at new technology of rice production such as the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) technique, which is widely practiced in Indonesia,” Junz mentioned.

Sabah existing padi areas are Tuaran, Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, Papar, Tambunan and Keningau.

There are other potential areas those can be developed like Sook, Trusan Sapi and Kinabatangan.

“One of the challenges should we reestablish Sabah Padi Board is the land use and sizes and tenure system which must me be addresed,” Junz ended.