Kedah govt to fight padi cartel, says MB
ALOR SETAR - The Kedah state government will fight against any ‘cartel’ found in the padi industry in the state to ensure better yields as well as to protect the interests of farmers, says Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.
He said it was possible that such a cartel existed when the padi cultivation undertaken by the Kedah State Zakat Board (LZNK) was able to achieve a higher yield than the existing average in the state.
"The capital used by LZNK can give a higher yield compared to the existing average padi yield of six tonnes per hectare. They cultivate their own padi fields on a land area of about 30 hectares and the first harvest reached 7.8 tonnes per hectare.
"Why can we only get six tonnes per hectare but LZNK can achieve a higher yield. There must be a reason why this happens, because both use the same resources, seeds, irrigation and machinery” he told reporters after the State Executive Council meeting at Wisma Darul Aman here today.
He said Kedah also lagged behind Selangor, which could produce between nine to 12 tonnes per hectare.
He said if there was such a cartel, it would have to be eliminated, and urged all parties involved in the padi industry to be honest, as it was important for the country.
"I am skeptical of the networks in this industry that are likely to be dishonest at any level. So, we will use this LZNK capital to challenge the existing system in the state to see if the production is still at the same level or not.
"Furthermore, the food crisis is expected to occur in 2025, so I have instructed the relevant state government council members to take immediate action on the issue of padi production in the state," he said.
In another development, he said the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) had allocated RM2.5 million for repair works on a collapsed bund at Terusan Tengah, Struktur Alor Limpah, Sungai Santap, Pelubang near Jitra, and that the process would take 14 days.
"We just need to look at it carefully as there are three places where water overflows. We have asked the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) engineers to have a look at it and they will monitor the river because there is rain in many areas so the soil is soft and we are worried about more landslides,” he said.
In the incident at about 12.15 pm on May 9, the bund collapsed causing the raw water in the canal to decrease, resulting in more than 30,000 account holders with Syarikat Air Darul Aman (SADA) experiencing water supply disruption. - Bernama