Pa­hang to use N. Korean padi-plant­ing tech

The Star Malaysia - - NEWS - By ROSLINA MO­HAMAD roslina@thes­tar.com.my

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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