MALACCA: Syarikat Padi Melaka has successfully undertaken a pilot project to cultivate padi on a 24ha site that had been abandoned for 10 years.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the padi, which was planted at Kg Padang Temu and Kg Ladang in Semabok in June was ready for harvesting.
“We are expecting to get about 3.5 to 4 metric tonnes per ha compared to the average of 6 metric tonnes per ha,” he said.
His speech was read out by state rural development and agriculture committee chairman Datuk Hamdin Abdullah at a ceremony to harvest the padi in Kg Padang Temu here yesterday.
Mohd Ali said the state-owned Syarikat Padi Melaka had leased the land from 97 landowners for a three-year period to undertake the padi cultivation.
“After the three years, the landowners can cultivate their land or continue to lease it back to the company for an annual rental,” he said.
Mohd Ali also said many landowners had not cultivated their land because of labour shortage as well as the lower returns from padi cultivation.
He said though 2,1762ha of land had been allotted for padi cultivation, only 1,801ha had been utilised, with an average yield of 3.5 metric tonnes per ha.
“The yield is lower than the national average of 4.5 metric tonnes per ha and measures have to be taken to increase the output,” he said.
Speaking to reporters later, Hamdin said similar projects would be undertaken in Alai, Kandang and Air Molek in the Melaka Tengah district and in Alor Gajah.