KIULU: The Sabah Bumiputra Famers and Stockbreeders Association (Petanah) has taken an initiative to launch a project of planting hill padi for a double-cropping yield annually.
In launching the scheme in a pilot launch on a two-acre plot in Kampung Logub, here on Tuesday, the president of Petanah, Gaibin Ransoi, said that the purpose of the scheme was to motivate the surrounding villages to be more aggressive in food production, especially hill padi.
“Ultimately, we need to plant padi towards the commercial scale, and not be satisfied with producing just to provide for family needs,” he said. “Petanah is taking the initiative to show the way, especially to the members of the younger generation, who are mostly not too keen to plant this staple food. It is such a waste that a lot of former hill areas have been neglected because of this lack of interest among the Gen-Ys.”
He said that the padi strain planted by Petanah is what has become popularly planted by people in Kiulu which matures for harvesting within three months, thus enabling a double-cropping planting cycle per year.
“This important launch is only the beginning for Petanah. We are planning that after this we will be able to acquire more land areas for more planting spaces,” he explained. “We are also hoping that the same project can be launched in other districts like Ranau, Kota Belud, Keningau and Kota Marudu.
“By using the fast-growing padi breed, double- or even triple-cropping schemes can be carried out. This way, we can avoid destructive large-scale hill burning as carried in past shifting cultivation method.
“Many people do not realize that hill padi planting is a lot easier than the wet padi planting process,” he added. “In hill padi cultivation, there is no necessity for water supply by way of irrigation, no need for ploughing, nor earth-lump breaking or field flattening. There is also no necessity for the traditional pre-planting of seedlings prior to transplanting in to the field. We simply clear the land by burning off the bushes and plant the seeds into the ground, and wait for the padi to mature for harvesting.”
The participants of the planting event included Dausil Kandayong, the Tuaran PKR divisional head, as well as by leaders and members of Petanah from Kiulu and other districts, even as far as Kota Marudu, and supporters of Petanah from the surrounding villages.
Ransoi also said that the leaders of Petanah are hoping very much to get support and guidance from the Sabah Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, and are looking forward to meet the minister, Datuk Junz Wong, soon.-pr/BNN