MAFI, BERNAS expand SMART SBB to Kota Belud, Sabah

The Agricultural and Food Industries Ministry (MAFI) and Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS) have expanded the Large-Scale SMART Padi Field (SMART SBB) and to Kota Belud, Sabah.

Introduced in early 2021, SMART SBB is one of MAFI’s initiatives in increasing the National Rice Subsistence Level (SSL) rate to 75% by 2025 or before the end of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS) is strongly committed in strengthening the development of SMART SBB, in line with MAFI’s aspirations in strengthening the industry’s sustainability.

Among the main goals of SMART SBB is to build a more dynamic agricultural system and network of farmers. 

This will also help farmers to increase their income with more quality paddy yield.

As the sole company developing SMART SBB in Sabah, BERNAS is now expanding the area to Kampung Jawi-Jawi, Kota Belud with the involvement of 40 local farmers.

Farmers in this area have been exposed to various agricultural exercises to further strengthen their knowledge and skills. 

This includes the latest technologies such as drones and machinery suitable for paddy crop management as well as the Farm Work Schedule, which is an accurate method of agricultural practice.

SMART SBB in Kota Belud is a collaboration between BERNAS, the Sabah Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry as well as other government agencies such as the Integrated Agriculture Development Area (IADA) Kota Belud, Department of Irrigation and Drainage, farmers organisations, and the Sabah Department of Agriculture, among others.

Head of the Jawi-Jawi Scheme Block in Kota Belud Rajumin Jamrin said this programme gives farmers various benefits.

“It helps us to work in the fields as a team more systematically. 

“In addition, BERNAS also guided us in setting a more organised work schedule which can reduce the risk to crops as well as avoid waste of agricultural inputs. 

” This can also help us in increasing rice yields as well as our income,” said Rajumin in a statement yesterday.

He and other farmers expressed their excitement over the use of drone technology for the area.

“The drone technology gives a more even spraying of fertilisers and pesticides to the entire area in a much shorter time, reduce energy consumption and optimise inputs and costs. 

“This will definitely make our work easier and give us more time to do other daily chores,” he concluded.

The SMART SBB BERNAS at the Jawi-Jawi Scheme Kota Belud Sabah was officiated MAFI Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee. 

Also present were Permanent Secretary of the Sabah Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Datuk Dr Mariana Tinggal;

Secretary of the Paddy and Rice Industry Division of MAFI Azman Mahmood; BERNAS Chief of Concession Management and Upstream Activities Division Abdul Rahman Mohd Nasri; and Director of IADA Kota Belud Norfaine Sameun, among others. –By TMR