Bernas practises sustainable, high-tech agriculture with Smart SBB

Smart SBB is a collaboration programme between Mafi, Bernas, LZNK and farmers 

by AUFA MARDHIAH / Pic by BERNAMA

PADIBERAS Nasional Bhd (Bernas) has expanded the area of paddy fields under the Large Scale Paddy Field Programme (Smart SBB). 

Shifting from conventional agriculture, Smart SBB focuses on practising sustainable and high-tech agriculture. 

Grasping this effort, Bernas, who is one of the pioneers of sustainable agricultural practices in the paddy cultivation sector, is also working with government agencies and local institutions of higher learning. 

Smart SBB is a collaboration programme between the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry (Mafi), leading companies such as Bernas, Kedah State Zakat Board (LZNK) and farmers. 

Also collaborating as mentoring partners in this programme are major agricultural agencies such as Muda Agricultural Development Authority, Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority, Integrated Agricultural Development Area, State Agriculture Department, Irrigation and Drainage Department, Area Farmers Organisation and so on. 

Started with four planting locations early last year, the effort has now expanded to 12 locations nationwide. 

To date, the locations involved include areas in Sungai Batu Pahat and Titi Tinggi in Perlis, Bukit Besar, Kedah; Sungai Manik, Perak; Tok Kamis and Jelor, in Pasir Putih, Kelantan; Gong Dasar, Terengganu; Gancong Hulu, in Rompin, Pahang; Batang Lupar, Sarawak and Kampung Kalumbai, Kota Belud in Sabah. 

Bernas Plantation Management Department head Norhisham Abdul Rahman said the involvement of farmers was the most important element of the programme. 

“To date, Bernas has managed to form a good cooperative alliance with almost 465 registered farmers. This programme would not have been possible without the high commitment of the farmers.

“This continuous collective effort is very important in exposing local farmers to the development and practice of paddy crop management technology in accordance with current developments, thus achieving the objective of transforming the country’s paddy and rice sector,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Norhisham also informed that Bernas is planning various initiatives to be implemented in stages such as ecological engineering practices in Integrated Pest Management. 

He also emphasised the capability of modern machinery in preserving soil sustainability, the use of multi-application drone technology, the practice of a more systematic farm work schedule and various other good agricultural practices. 

“Bernas believes that this is the right plan towards the development of the local paddy sector, as well as fostering awareness of the importance of environmental conservation, creating ecological balance in the fields, protecting the health of farmers and improving the technical knowledge of farmers including disease control in the fields,” he concluded.