The north Malaysian state of Kedah, which is touted as the ‘Rice Bowl of the Nation’ owing to most of the rice harvested in Malaysia coming from the state is to receive a RM3 billion boost for padi farming.
Announcing this to the nation, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) stated that this allocation is to upgrade the padi farming infrastructure which will enable padi farmers to achieve five padi planting seasons every two years.
DSAI stated that this was vital to ensure national food security and to improve the quality of life of farmers for padi fields under the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) which covers an area of 201,000ha.
Also involved is the provision of drainage and irrigation systems as well as roads to be built through padi fields which will be overseen by the Department of Agriculture, Mada and Padiberas Nasional Bhd or Bernas.
Under the 2023 Budget, the Federal Government has allocated RM1.6 billion for padi farming subsidies and incentives which includes an allocation of RM228 million to provide a RM200 monthly allowance for 300,000 farmers for three months.
DSAI stated that this RM200 monthly allowance was given by the federal government in good faith for them while they awaited the harvesting season and this was also how the government cared for the plight of padi farmers.