KOTA KINABALU: RM1 billion is needed to develop the water irrigation system and water supply infrastructures in Kota Belud.
Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Agricluture and Food Industry, Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin, said the development for both infrastructures in the district will be carried out in phases.
“In RMK-11, the state Department of Irrigation and Drainage through the Integrated Agricultural Development Area (IADA) has applied for RM380.8 million allocation from the federal government.
“The allocation is to kickstart the eleven projects for development and infrastructure upgrade for irrigation and drainage in a 5,000 hectares area by the year 2020, including for the construction of Kota Belud IADA Administraton Office Complex,” he said at the State Assembly today.
He was responding to the inquiry of Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Lajim Ukin (PKR-Klias) on the allocation amount provided by the federal government to improve Kota Belud as the state rice-producing district.
IADA has also applied for an additional RM65 million allocation to carry out several projects for increasing good agriculture practices among farmers and entrepreneurs, including the Youth Paddy Agropreneur and Machinery Service Entrepreneur development programme, Machine Technology Transfer and Promotion Programme, and the Crops Intensity Improvement programme.
“Through the implementation of these agriculture programmes, more than 4,000 farmers benefit from these projects with the farmers’ revenue in the projected areas to increase from RM850 to RM2,500 monthly.”
“Paddy yield is also expected to increase from 2.5 metric tonnes per hectare in one season to no less than 6.0 metric tonnes, with paddy planting to be done twice a year,” he said.
Yahya also said the average paddy production in Sabah annually (2010-2014) stood at 11,490 metric tonnes, with Kota Belud produces up to 40.65 percent or 46,548 metric tonnes from the whole amount.
“This proves that the government’s effort in developing Kota Belud as the main paddy production area in the state is successful and has increased rice supply for the people of Sabah, despite the increase in population growth from year to year,” he added. –SayangSabah