KULIM: The Rural Development Ministry will hold talks with the Kedah state government to identify small agricultural plots in the state to be merged and managed as a large estate.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun (pix), said there were several agricultural areas in Kedah managed by the Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada) which if combined, could boost production and further benefit farmers.
“We see large areas in Kedah involved in the planting of padi. If we want to merge them it must be discussed with the state government and the ministry can help by merging the parcels of land (to form an estate) and in using technology (to boost productivity).
“For padi production to be increased from four to perhaps five times a year, studies must be conducted and I am sure this can be realised,“ she told reporters after the opening of Serdang Lake View Resort, here yesterday.
She added that the concept of estate farming would also encourage the use of technology as a far wider area would have to be managed, thus bringing about an increase in agricultural production.
Rina said that besides benefiting farmers and smallholders, the merging of agricultural plots would also benefit the surrounding communities as they would have the opportunity to undertake entrepreneurial activities.
She added that if there were fish in padi fields, people in the area could for instance, find a way to use and process the fish for pickles which could provide them a side income.
Meanwhile the hay from a padi harvest could be turned into animal feed as “we need to create waste to wealth in revenue generation,” she shared.
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government would introduce an estate farming model that included smallholder-owned lands which would be merged and managed professionally on a large scale to increase smallholders’ income.
The 33-room Serdang Lake View Resort which includes male and female hostels as well as a hall is managed by Keda (Kedah Regional Development Authority) Resort & Holidays Sdn Bhd. — Bernama