KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani says prioritising effective management and improvement of paddy fields can potentially lead to a substantial increase in rice production.

Johari pointed out that just 60 per cent of paddy is grown locally, while the rest is imported. This causes sustainability challenges in the food production.

"For instance, in Tanjung Karang, Kuala Selangor, paddy yields can reach up to six or seven tonnes per hectare.

"Comparatively, in our northern paddy fields, the yield might only be around four tonnes. This two-tonne difference, when scaled up across 800,000 hectares, would equate to 1.6 million tonnes of paddy, translating to over one million tonnes of rice.

"Currently, we consume around 2.2 million tonnes of rice annually, while producing only 60 per cent domestically," he said on Bernama TV's Ruang Bicara on "Enhancing Agricultural Commodities In Confronting Global Challenges" tonight.

The government reportedly is concerned that a lower domestic output will increase reliance on more expensive imports.

It acknowledged the issue but the industry fretted that little had been done to resolve the problem.




Sumber : New Straits Times