YAN, May 4 2019 : The proposal that farmers engage in planting paddy at night to help simplify and lighten their work is something that is not impossible because it has been done in the past, said Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
He said for some people there might be a feeling that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s proposal was extraordinary and absurd, but it is actually not something new.
“I remember the early childhood days in Tokai, Pendang where people used gasoline lamps to work at night. He (Tun Dr Mahathir) is from the old generation, so he still remembers.
“For me, the proposal is not weird and maybe it can be considered if it is good and can benefit the people involved and also if you want to avoid the current hot weather,” he said after launching the the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA)’s ‘Jom Turun Bendang’ programme here, today.
Mukhriz, who is also chairman of MADA, said although the cost of paddy production may increase because of the need to install lights, yet there are other advantages and the proposal could be considered.
Meanwhile, in his opening speech, Mukhriz said the state government has assured it would continue to maintain Kedah’s status as an ‘agricultural state’ although currently there was land grabbing for industrial development, housing, catchment areas and forest reserves.
“Kedah is the largest rice producer in Malaysia and the yield from 100,685 hectares of MADA area cultivated by 57,635 farmers can contribute to 40 per cent of the country’s paddy production.
“We are drawing up specific plans to spur the growth of the agricultural sector so that it continues to grow in tandem with today’s changes in technology and science.
“We will encourage the use of the latest technology in paddy cultivation to increase rice yield at a cost that is profitable,” he said. – Bernama