Bandar Seri Begawan - Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources said, during the 9th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting, that the 2015 national target of being 60 per cent self-sufficient in paddy production is too ambitious.
The minister was answering a query made by a LegCo member as to whether the aspiration is on target.
"The target of being 60 per cent self-sufficient in paddy production by 2015 is what we call an ambitious target. But what is more important is to complete the agricultural infrastructure to increase paddy production, and this is the strongest matter we are monitoring," the minister said.
A better infrastructure for the production of the paddy and an increase in the number of farms with adequate infrastructure is important to achieve the target.
Enhancing the capabilities of local farmers by organising farming schools, which they can use to continuously learn and be knowledgeable on the latest farming technologies, especially technologies that involved hybrid paddy farming is also important.
The third point raised to achieve the target is to introduce a variety of paddy that can produce higher yields instead of increasing production.
These three points are more important than achieving the 60 per cent self-sufficient mark, as a strong layer of infrastructure and increased capability of farmers will be the foundation of a strong and continuous production of paddy.
"If we can achieve the 60 per cent target than, Alhamdulillah, but what is more important is the infrastructure development," the minister reiterated.
On other enquires on the number of locals entering the agricultural sector, the minister said that there is no current figure but the majority of entrepreneurs in the field are locals.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin