Penang Govt Plans To Gazette Padi Land
Posted by lawck on May 17, 2008
PENANG, May 15 Bernama) — The Penang government plans to gazette 12,163 hectares of land in the state now being used for padi cultivation.
State Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Rural Development and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Law Choo Kiang said the move was to prevent the land from being used for other purpose, including development, which had resulted in reduced padi land.
“The move becomes more urgent when there’s a rice shortage. However, this is just a plan while there are many factors to be looked into,” he told reporters after chairing the committee meeting here today.
Law said the proposal would be put forward to the state executive council after discussions were held with the relevant parties.
He said there were currently 3,542 active padi farmers in the state, producing 120,000 tonnes of padi per year, which met 63 percent of the state’s need.
“The state’s annual rice production is 78,000 tonnes, while its 1.5 million population requires 123,000 tonnes,” he said, based on the average rice consumption of 7kg for each individual monthly.
Law said to meet the state’s projection of self-sufficiency in rice by 2010, padi yields had to be increased to eight tonnes from five tonnes per hectare.
On rice stock in the state, he said it would reach 64,833 tonnes next week.
“Consumers should not panic as the rice stock is enough for six months, while July is the harvesting season, hence increasing the rice supply,” he added.