Kedah Agriculture and Food Industry Exco, Azman Nasrudin says, the Agriculture Department has enough rice seeds for planting season 2/2021 that can cover an area of 520,000 hectares in the Peninsula.
The rising cost of legal seeds is causing concern among farmers. To add to their worries, the government has issued a list of recommended seeds but farmers in Kedah believe it will disadvantage them.
“I hope the farmers can be patient, listen to the explanations and views from the relevant agencies, not when there are NGOs making a small statement, everything will be chaotic,” he said in comments to the local media yesterday.
He also ensures that Kedah’s farmers do not have to worry about the issue, the seeds will be distributed in stages but expect some delays due to a temporary lack of supply of seeds.
On October 18, the Department of Agriculture recommended that farmers avoid using MR297 seeds and instead use UKMRC, PUTRA, MR303, MR307, MRQ76, and MR269.
The seed that has been offered is a burden, say, farmers, because farmers in Kedah only got two options, the expensive one (CL2) and the old one (RM219).
MARDI has recently officially announced that MR219 is no longer disease resistant, and has advised farmers not to use it any longer, leaving farmers with no choice but to rely on CL2.
Azman also asks farmers to be patient because the seed will be distributed as needed, but there will be some delays due to supply shortages.