KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 2018 : Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) honoured three women padi farmers with the Special Srikandi Award at the Bernas Tani Awards 2018, here, last night.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the award was a mark of recognition and appreciation for women’s contribution to the agriculture industry.
“We believe that one of the aspects of empowering women is giving them economic emancipation so that they can make their own decisions in shaping their lives.
“Hence, through the Karnival Usahanita 2018 (Women Entrepreneurs Carnival), MAHA 2018 and many other programmes this year, my ministry will highlight various opportunities for women to be involved and succeed in the agriculture and agro-food industry,” he said.
Ahmad Shabery said the agriculture sector which in the past might be linked to poverty and pressure upon women, could now be a jumping board to economic independence and a better life for them.
The three recipients of the Anugerah Khas Srikandi (Heroine) were Zaliha Abd Rahman, 67, from Seberang Perai Utara, Penang, Hamisah Hashim, 54, from Teluk Intan, Perak and Ngatirah Junet from Tanjung Karang, Selangor.
Each of them received a cash award of RM5,000 and items such as a pesticide dispenser, fertiliser dispenser and water pump, as well as a trophy and certificate.
Selection for the award was based on their constant good output of high-quality padi.
Ngatirah, 42, related that with an initial capital of RM5,000, she ventured into padi farming on a one-and-a half-acre piece of land in 2006, and now she could earn a gross profit of RM80,000.
“To the young people out there, I say do not fear to go into farming although it’s a dirty job, as the returns can be lucrative,” she said.
At the awards night, recognition was also given to Wan Chik Ali, 72, who received the Excellent Farmer Award. He took home RM10,000, a trophy, certificate and a power tiller.
Working his 21 hectares of padi land in Seberang Perai Utara, Wan Chik was selected for the award also because of his good farm practices that have produced high yields, for example, 250 tonnes of padi in 2017.
The Anugerah Tani Bernas is an ideal platform for showing recognition and appreciation for the support of padi farmers, and rice millers and wholesalers as part of the nation’s rice supply chain. – Bernama