SHAH ALAM, 16 Dec: The ‘natural farming’ method will be expanded in Selangor next year with the involvement of farmers from 700 paddy field blocks that will use this technique which can increase income up to RM2,000 annually.
The technique, which means “natural farming”, is able to reduce the cultivation costs by converting from chemical fertilisers and pesticides to materials made from natural resources.
From the experience of a farmer from Simpang Sungai Besar, Fadzlin Taslimin said that the method is also able to increase crop yields.
“I’m working on five lots of paddy fields. The expenditure for chemicals are from RM5,000 to RM6,000 previously.
“For this new season, there have been savings of around RM3,000 for the five lots of paddy fields,” said Fadzlin who began using the technique three years ago.
He also added that the method, which is healthier, provides health guarantees as the usage of chemical pesticides threatens health.
“Also for the latest season, (harvest) yields will increase by one ton. Three acres may produce up to nine tonnes of rice,” he said.
Agricultural Modernisation, Natural Resources Management and Entrepreneur Development Exco, Dr Yaacob Sapari said that the plan next year is a continuation of the pilot project in Simpang Lima Sungai Besar.
For the project, pioneer farmers from eight block of paddy fields who have used the technique have been able to reduce their operational cost from RM5,000 to less than RM1,000 per month.
“At least RM18 million a year can be saved for 1,000 hectares,” he said.
Yaakob said that natural fertilisers and pesticides can also be sold by the farmers to increase their income.
He said that the health of the farmers will also be more secure as they are not exposed to health-threatening chemical poisons.
“This poison-less method will stabilise the ecosystem and fishes can live in the rice paddies,” he said when met recently.
Yaakob added that the farmers who have adopted the “natural farming” concept has allowed them to attain the Malaysian Good Agriculture Practice Certificate (SLAM).
“We want to produce organic Selangor rice that is more expensive than regular rice. The cost would be lower but the yield is much higher,” he said.
“We will provide the farmers with the technology and not subsidy because government subsidies will have to spend the amount in the following years.
“With technology, we can save the farmer’s production costs of RM1,000 per season which is better than BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia) cash aid where it has to continue from year to year,” said Yaakob.