KUCHING, Sept 22 — The state government has identified suitable areas in Samarahan, Sri Aman and Betong Divisions for large-scale padi cultivation, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said today.
However, he said the cost of cultivating padi is not cheap as it involves the construction of roads and drainage and irrigation systems in the areas that have been identified as suitable.
“For example, in Sri Aman alone, at least RM1 billion is needed for the construction of the drainage and irrigation system,” he said at the opening of the Sarawak Agrofest 2023 here.
The premier said he has informed Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to look for funds from the federal government.
When asked by reporters after the opening ceremony, Fadillah said he would discuss with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Ministry of Economy on the funding and if should be on a yearly basis.
He said this is to complete the construction of the infrastructures in the areas mentioned by the premier for padi cultivation.
“We will start with Sri Aman first as the premier had said earlier that it needs at least RM1 billion,” Fadillah, who is also the federal minister of plantation and commodity, said.
He said his ministry will work out the details and how much the federal government can allocate on a yearly basis.