MEMBAKUT, SABAH – Registered paddy farmers here were given an additional incentive for ploughing as much as RM50 per acre so as to achieve the objective of ensuring preservation of paddy field here.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif said the government has allocated a total of RM8,700 for the paddy land encompassing 69.6 hectares.
“Some 69 farmers have benefited from the allocation where each is given RM200 as government subsidy to lessen their burden in paying for ploughing cost of RM250.
“This is our mission to make Membakut as one of the rice contributors in the country,” he said.
Arifin who is also Membakut assemblyman said this during the Additional Incentive for Ploughing presentation, here.
He said he plans to create an award to recognize the role of farmers here as successful farmers.
He hoped the farmers would be more productive and at the same time capable of transforming their own socio-economic and family activities through agricultural activities.
“The award will be known as ‘Tokoh Jihad Pertanian’ that will be announced during a ‘Maal Hijrah’ celebration here as well as recognizing the contribution and role of the farmers,” he said.
“There will be efforts to rehabilitate and revive idle paddy fields here with close collaboration with the Sabah Agriculture Department,” Arifin said.
According to him, there were about 300 hectares of abandoned paddy fields that will be rehabilitated in stages that have started since the beginning of the year.
“The total number of paddy fields that has been rehabilitated, so far, is about 178 hectares and these are expected to produce up to 712 tonnes of rice,” Arifin said.