JERLUN – Good news awaits paddy farmers in the country if the Barisan Nasional is returned to power in the coming general election, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said he would announce an increase in the special aid for paddy farmers once the BN claims victory on the night the results are declared for the 14th general election.
“This is in appreciation of the solid support of the paddy farmers for the government. It is up to you to make that wise decision. Work well, there will be additional gains,” he said when launching a national-level special aid for paddy farmers at the Sungai Korok Rural Growth Centre in Alor Biak here today.
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah; Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man; Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid; Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and Deputy Finance Minister and Jerlun MP Datuk Othman Aziz were also present at the event.
Najib said paddy farmers would continue to receive special attention from the government in appreciation of their contribution to the country in terms of paddy production.
“I would like to emphasise that we must appreciate the contribution of the paddy farmers. We must understand the hard work they put in,” he said.
Najib said the government had provided a total allocation of RM2.7 billion for the period 2011 to 2020 to develop the irrigation system in the Muda Agriculture Development Authority (MADA) area.
“Our goal is to realise an output of eight tonnes per hectare compared to the present 6.19 tonnes. If we can achieve that target, the per capita income of the paddy farmer households will rise to RM48,000 per annum. This is our goal for the MADA area,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government felt that all the aid given to the paddy farmers had been worthwhile and the government should continue providing aid because they worked hard.
This year, he said, the government had allocated RM1.69 billion for paddy subsidies and incentives nationwide.
The Prime Minister launched a special aid of RM200 per month for three months for paddy farmers nationwide.
The total RM600 was to help reduce the financial burden of paddy farmers while waiting for the paddy harvest.
Up to 325,518 paddy farmers in the country are eligible for the aid. – BERNAMA