The Star Malaysia

Pahang to use N. Korean padi-planting tech


KUANTAN: The Pahang government will use a North Korean technology to grow padi on a commercial scale and allocate land if the method is successful.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said there was a need to obtain new knowledge and technology for developmen­t projects, including padi planting.

“The world’s needs have changed. Climate change with global warming is becoming a threat.

“As such, we need to arm ourselves with knowledge, and this includes finding tech- niques of growing padi,” he said after witnessing the signing of an agreement between Syarikat Sungai Duri Plantation­s Sdn Bhd and the North Korean government here recently.

The state had agreed to allocate 263ha in Sungai Pelak, Pekan, for a pilot project to employ the North Korean planting method.

He said the project was in line with the state’s intention to make Pekan and Rompin the rice bowls of Pahang.

“If it goes well, we will share the technology nationwide,” Adnan said.

Sungai Duri Plantation­s managing director Datuk Normala A. Kahar said that five experts from North Korea had started work on a 60ha plot in Mambang, Pekan, that served as a testing ground.

She said the MR219 variety produced by Mardi would be ready for harvest in May.

The results were encouragin­g and they were confident the project would be a success, said Normala. “The five North Korean experts involved in the project have successful­ly conducted similar projects in China, Uganda, Angola and the Philippine­s.

“They also managed to treat the dry soil in Africa and make it good for planting padi.

“With the new rice-planting technology, farmers can harvest up to seven tonnes of padi per hectare in a season,” she said.

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