Thursday, 2 July 2009

Rice production problem in Sabah, can we meet sufficiency in 2020?




The Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament, Dr. Hiew King Cheu asked in Parliament and received a written reply from the Minister of Agriculture on the issue of rice production in Sabah. This is concerning the measures taken by the Ministry to improve the rice production to meet the self sufficiency level in Sabah.

The reply said that in order to increase the rice production, the various departments like the Agriculture, Drainage and Irrigation, and others are involved to expedite the process, but at the moment there is effort being put in by the Sabah Agriculture department under the 9th Malaysia Plan, with the following steps:-

(1) SUBSIDIES: to launch projects on subsidies assistance on fertilizers from the State government as much as RM 100 per acre. The purpose of the subsidy is to assist and encourage the farmers to open up their paddy fields to plant paddy.

(2) NEW TECHNOLOGY: to launch projects by the Federal Government level to increase the rice production from 3 ton to 7 ton per hectare with new technology packet. These are to be used in areas where there are efficient drainage and irrigation system.

(3) RENEW IDLE FIELDS: the Federal Government will assist to open up long idle paddy fields, in order these paddy fields will be productive again.

(4) LOAN SCHEME: to provide small loan scheme for the purchase of agriculture equipment. This is to assist the small farmers who can not afford to purchase the machineries for the rice planting work.

(5) HIGH YIELD PADDY: to introduce high yield type paddy to be planted in Sabah.

(6) UPGRADE SEED PROCESSING PLANT: to build additional and upgrade exiting paddy seed preparation and sorting plant in Sabah, in order to ensure the production of seed supply for the rice planters. The upgrading project for Pusat Pengeluaran Benih Tenom from 200 ton to 1,500 ton per year was completed in 2007. This also includes the construction of a chill-room that store 960 ton of paddy seed. In order to ensure the supply of seed, the Kimanis Papar seed processing plant will be upgraded from production of 600 ton to 1,000 ton per year, and is expected to start in 2009. The seed processing plant in Timbang Menggaris in Kota Belud is ensured to produce at least 2,000 ton yearly. The total paddy seed production in Sabah by the Agriculture department will eventually reach 4,500 ton per year.

From the information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Hiew said that the measures and effort as mentioned are not enough to meet the rice production sufficiency targeted for year 2020, as announced by the government few weeks ago. The measures mentioned are insufficient to increase the rice production in Sabah, and the department is incapable to implement all the various projects within the time frame as stipulated. There is much to do in Sabah in terms of rice production to meet self sufficiency by year 2020. Based on the answers and proposals given by the Ministry, DAP has the following proposal to put forward for the consideration of the government:-

(a) New paddy field: we need to open up at least 60,000 acres (with a production of 7 ton per hectare) of new paddy field to meet the increasing rice consumption in Sabah, and to stop further import of rice as it is now at 220,000 ton per year. That is at least 6,000 acres yearly to be opened up.

(b) Foreign participation and investors: we shall need the participation and investors from abroad to help to provide finance, technology knowledge, expertise and experience to help the development.
(c) Government land: the state government must provide the necessary land for paddy planting to the local planters, or open up state land bank for easy application to genuine rice planters in order to increase the acreage.

(d) Seed processing plant: the existing seed processing plants in Kota Belud, Tenom, and Kimanis are not capable to produce the needed seed to cover the heavy demand in the near future, even with the improved production capacity of 4,500 ton yearly. Therefore, there is the need to immediately expand or built new plants, and may have to adopt to import seed from other source. The local planters are facing the shortage of seeds supply now.

(e) Financial assistance: there is a need for the government to give out loan to capable, creditable, and genuine planters in Sabah, to assist them in the purchase of machineries, land, and operational capital. This shall be at a low interest rate and an easy repayment scheme.

(f) Milling Plant: to handle the future big volume of paddy planted, there is the need to increase the capacity of the rice millers in Sabah. There is the need to assist them to expand and upgrade. This is where the government can come into provide them with sufficient milling subsidies and loan scheme.

(g) Fertilizers subsidies: the subsidies on the fertilizers shall be increased and reviewed following the increase in the market price. At the moment, it is not enough for higher production rate.

(h) Bernas and Sazaic purchasing price: the price for purchasing rice from the planters must be increased in order to give better profit margin to the planters. This will encourage more people to get involve and also to commercialize the paddy planting industry.

(Picture : Dr. Hiew and Edward Mujie visit the Seed processing plant at Kimanis)
Dr. Hiew King Cheu. KK MP



沙巴州水稻生产的存在问题,我们是否能在2020年自给自足?
亚庇国会议员邱庆洲博士在国会中提问并且收到农业部长的书面回答,有关在沙巴州的水稻生产问题。 这是关于农业部将采取的措施,改善在沙巴州的水稻生产,以达到能够自给自足的水平。

该书面回答说,为了增加稻米的产量,各单位如农业,排灌和其他参与者,将以最快的时间内实践该计划,但目前根据第九马来西亚计划,沙巴州农业部门需要努力实施及执行下列步骤: -

(1)补贴:州政府将补贴给每英亩约马币一百的化肥援助。该补贴目的为了协助并鼓励农民开放其稻田种植水稻。

(2)新技术:根据联邦政府的要求,将使用新的技术让每英亩三吨的产量,增加至每英亩七吨的水稻产量。这新技术将被采用在效率排水和灌溉系统的稻田。

(3)更新荒废的田地:联邦政府将协助开辟长期荒废的稻田,使该田地可以重新生产。

(4)贷款计划:提供小型的贷款计划,用于购买农业设备。 这是为了帮助小型的农户能够有能力购买机械来进行水稻种植工作。

(5)提高水稻产量:引进高产量的水稻品种种植在沙巴州。

(6)提高种子高产量技术:兴建立并且提升水稻种子高产量的品质及分拣技术在沙巴州,以确保水稻高产量的种子供应。提升工程以‘Pusat Pengeluaran Benih Tenom’已经在二零零七年完成,以致从每年两百吨提高为一千五百吨。 这包括建造一间冷房能够储存约九百六十〇吨的水稻种子。 为了确保种子的足够供应,当局将提升吧巴金马尼士(Kimanis Papar)的种子品质及处理厂,以达致其生产量每年六百吨,这预计将会在二零零九年开始。 而在哥打毛律丁邦孟加里(Timbang Menggaris in Kota Belud)的种子品质及处理厂将确保其生产量至少提升每年二千吨。 在沙巴州在农业部的敦促下,该水稻的每年总生产量将最终会达到四千五百吨左右。

从农业部所提供的资料里,邱博士表示说,政府在几个星期前所宣布的措施及拨款,是不能够达到稻米生产量在二零二零年可以自给自足的目标。 上述措施是不能够在沙巴州提高水稻的生产量,此外当局是无法在时间规定的范围内,实践所提的各种项目。 在能够自给自足之前,沙巴州的水稻生产有许多工作必须要先做。 根据部长的答复, 民主行动党有以下建议提出给联邦政府考虑: -

(a)新的稻田:我们需要开放至少六十万英亩(以每公顷生产七吨计算)的新的稻田,以供应在沙巴州日益增加的白米消费,并且减少进口每年二百二十万吨左右外国米。 那就是说至少每年需要增加六千英亩的新田地。

(b)外国投资者:我们需要外国投资者的参与,以得到国外提供资金,技术知识,专长和经验来帮助该项发展。

(c)政府的土地:州政府必须提供政府的土地给当地的稻农们种植,让稻农们申请使用于稻米种植,以增加种植的面积和产量。

(d)种子处理厂:目前在哥打毛律,丹南和金马尼士的种子处理厂,在将来是没有能力生产所需要的种子以应付需求,即使要改善每年四千五百屯的生产量。 因此,是有必要立即扩大或兴建新的工厂,并且可能通过进口优良品种的种子来提高生产量。 目前本地稻农正面临着种子供应短缺的问题。

(e)财务援助:联邦政府必须协助有能力,可靠的和真正进行种植的稻农们,让他们可以得到贷款,以协助他们购买机器,土地和资金周转。 这项贷款将是以低利息或轻松的还款措施。

(f)米较工厂:未来若要处理大量的稻米种植,有需要增加米较工厂。 因此有必要帮助他们进行扩张和提升设备。 政府应该开始为他们提供足够的补贴和贷款计划。

(g)肥料补贴:随着市场价格的起落,肥料的补贴应该时常审查而增加。 目前是不够的来提高生产的速度。

(h)Bernas和Sazaic采购价格:向稻农们购买白米的价格必须增加,以提供更好的利润给他们。 这将能鼓励更多农民参与种植,并使到稻米种植业走向商业化。

(图 :邱博士和爱德华慕吉于金马尼士米较工厂前摄)