TANGKAK: Padi farmers in Kampung Kesang Tasek had harvested a new padi variety planted in April.
Called the ‘MR220CL’, this variety was planted to rid weed padi or padi angin from their plots and had more than tripled their output per hectare.
Ledang MP Hamim Samuri said the villagers, numbering about 42, now produced nearly 8-metric tonnes per hectare as compared to previous harvest of 2.5-metric tonnes.
“This shows that the government’s research and development efforts in finding new and better padi varieties has paid off.
“The new variety has not only managed to control the spread of the wild parasitic padi angin that affected their crop.
“It also produces better grade padi,” he said at the launch of the harvest in the village on Saturday.
Hamim, who was accompanied by Ledang district officer Amran Abdul Rahman and Senator Ahmad Yusof, added that the villagers could now increase their padi production.
He said it took them just 100 days or about three months to harvest their crops after planting the seeds in April using the seed spraying machines.
Earlier, Ledang Agriculture Department officer Jamaluddin Mohd Zain said the new padi variety was only planted in the village.
He said the department wanted to rid the wild weed padi, which occupied about 80% of the plots in Kesang Tasek and was happy the effort had paid off.
He said the village had about 70ha of padi growing area and it would take about two weeks for the villagers to complete harvest their crops.
“We provide them with a combined harvester machine and a baler machine to collect all stalks and bale them for recycling into animal feed.
“The new variety will be planted here until we have totally rid the weed padi from the padi plots,” he said.
Later, Hamim and Amran used traditional way of cutting the padi stalks using sickles to mark the beginning of the harvesting season before using a combined harvester machine.
SOURCE: THE STAR, 19 JULY, 2011