Premier calls on Putrajaya to fund S’wak’s drainage, irrigation system for paddy farming

Posted on 22 Sep 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

Abang Johari speaks to reporters after the opening ceremony. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Sept 22): Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has called upon the federal government to provide funding for the development of drainage and irrigation systems vital for paddy farming in the state.

During his address at the Sarawak Agrofest 2023 opening ceremony today, he emphasised the need for federal support in this matter, highlighting the substantial costs involved in establishing the necessary infrastructure.

He specifically mentioned the case of Sri Aman, where an estimated RM1 billion is required to develop its drainage and irrigation systems for paddy farming.

“Deputy Prime Minister had asked me on this as paddy farming requires costs on drainage and irrigation. On Sri Aman, I told him that the area alone needs at least RM1 billion for drainage and irrigation,” he said, underscoring the magnitude of the investment required.

In response to Abang Johari’s call for funding, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof affirmed the government’s commitment to support infrastructure development for drainage and irrigation systems in Sarawak.

“I will bring the matter back to Kuala Lumpur to be discussed with relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economy, and the Prime Minister to secure annual allocations for the development of irrigation and drainage systems to facilitate paddy cultivation in the areas mentioned by our Premier,” Fadillah, who is also Plantation and Commodities Minister, told reporters after the ceremony.

The infrastructure development project is set to commence in Sri Aman, requiring an estimated RM1 million for initial implementation.

Further details regarding funding allocation and timelines are expected to be discussed in upcoming meetings.

Abang Johari also emphasised the importance of identifying suitable locations for large-scale paddy cultivation to diversify income opportunities for farmers beyond rice production.

The plan encompasses areas in Sri Aman, Banting, Gedong Simunjan, Lundu’s Tanjung Puhun, and others, potentially covering up to 5,000 hectares of land.

He emphasised the need for comprehensive infrastructure, including logistics, to support these agricultural zones, ensuring efficient rice production and processing.

This initiative aims not only to bolster rice production but also to provide additional income avenues for farmers, thereby enhancing their overall livelihoods, he added.

Copyright © Department Of Irrigation & Drainage Sarawak

Last Updated On 20 Apr 2024

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