Padi farming. areas shrinking in Sabah: Yahya
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin is concerned with the shrinking size of the State’s padi farming areas. He said records showed that there were 41,217 hectares of padi farming areas in Sabah in 2003, but reduced to 40,822 hectares in 2004, before getting smaller to 39,631 hectares in 2005 and lesser by 60 hectares in 2006. If this trend continues, where is the State’s padi industry heading to? “Can we achieve the target of obtaining 60 percent self-sufficiency in rice supply?” he asked when opening the Sabah Agriculture Department’s annual meeting here yesterday. Yahya, who is also the Agriculture Food Industry Minister, said Sabah had 2.12 million hectares of land suitable for farmer which included 322,601 hectares for padi. He said based on a 2006 report, of the 1,411,220 hectares that was develop: 39,571 hectares was utilised for padi cultivation. He suggested that the Sabah Agriculture Department intensify efforts for padi cultivation, including provide aid advice for farmers.