BELURAN, May 7 — The Sabah government plans to revive the Sabah Padi Board in an effort to improve the state’s rice self-sufficiency level (SSL), said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He said the board, which was dissolved in 1981, would ensure the padi cultivation system across the state was better organised.
“It will oversee (Sabah’s rice planting industry), identifying areas to be zoned for padi planting and working to increase the state’s expertise (in cultivation).
“Sabah has a lot of land which is fertile and suitable for padi planting and we should progress towards producing enough rice for the people of Sabah, and even for export,” he told reporters after visiting Terusan Sapi rice mill, near here, today.
Mohd Shafie said Sabah’s SSL of rice stood at only around 25 per cent while it depended on imports from rice producers such as Vietnam and Thailand for the rest.
He said increasing the SSL of rice would protect the state’s food security especially in unforeseen circumstances.
On the padi growing project in Kota Belud which had yet to yield encouraging results, he said a new approach was needed to ensure the success of the project, which has already cost nearly RM400 million.