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Swak to have 50,000 ha of paddy estates to ensure food security, says DPM Zahid

0 month ago, 17-Sep-2023

Dr Hazland (third left), Julaihi, Ahmad Zahid and Rubiah wave the national and state flags during the programme.

KUCHING (Sept 17): Sarawak will soon have paddy estates spanning 50,000 hectares to ensure food security in the state and country, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said in a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) report that he was aware some countries might soon restrict the export of rice, thus Sarawak in particular should possess the capability of paddy production for the local communitys benefit.

Both Sabah and Sarawak must be capable in paddy plantation for the production of rice, he said when officiating a programme at SK Bujang Sebangan in Sebuyau today.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Minister of Rural and Regional Development, said the management of the estates will be placed under the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Board.

At a press conference later, he said a few locations have been identified to be turned into paddy estates but the implementation will take time.

In principle, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has agreed to the proposal, and large pieces of land have already been identified. However, the execution of the project will take time as some of the land involved are classified as native customary rights land.

He added the variety of paddy to be planted will depend on the soil condition.

Meanwhile, he instructed the Sarawak Rubbery Industry Smallholders Development Authority to work closely with all smallholders in Sebuyau to better take care of their interest.

Among those in attendance at the programme were Utility and Telecommunications Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Rubiah Wang and Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability Dr Hazland Abang Hipni.