Wednesday, November 20, 2013



Assalaamua'laikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh

Don't be angry, the title of this blog is just a joke !!!!. Nothing racial. When I was the Minister of Agriculture before I went back to the State of Kedah to become the Menteri Besar, land was an issue. As MADA is regarded as a model of a developed rice-growing area in Kedah, funded by the World Bank, the acreage for the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) could not be used for other than padi planting.
Padi is of course a necessity but padi farmers are also associated with poverty. Growing rice in small acreages is therefore similar to growing or perpetuating poverty. Short of replacing the padi with oil palm the income of the padi farmers can only be increased by doubling or tripling the production per acre of padi. New clones need to be found. In addition the farmers have to get involved in other economic activities such as making biscuits, cakes, handicrafts, rearing domestic animals and growing vegetables and fruit trees etc..etc..
Instead of reducing the acreage of padi fields I have asked investors to go to the non-padi areas for their housing and other industrial projects. If they are brave enough they should reclaim the sea.

But then, in the process of growing padi much fertilizer and water are wasted as the rain-water and the water from the dam just lingers through the padi fields to the rivers and the sea while the fertilizer just sip into the ground.
As such, how about roof-top farming? The farmers in Kedah can build concrete houses in the padi fields without actually sacrificing the acreage, but by just growing them on the flat, well thought of structure on the roof-tops. With cement flooring the water will not flow away and the fertilizer stays. Piping would have to be provided for water circulation.
When I mentioned this idea the media went to town to harass what was considered as my weird thought. Cartoons were drawn and I appeared like a clown. Quietly I requested the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to build a structure in Butterworth for padi growing on the roof top. I was told that it was viable. But the press was not supportive. Later on as Menteri Besar of Kedah and Chairman of MADA I requested that a house be built for a library in the vicinity of Paya Pahlawan in the district of Kubang Pasu. We could grow padi three times a year on the roof-top of the library without water and fertilizer shortage and wastage. It was very viable. But no one was listening. Short of calling me mad, they said that it was a crazy idea.
Below is a press report of such an endeavor being undertaken by the Chinese. Have the Chinese gone mad" Thus the tile of this entry.

High rice flats! The lush paddy field that sits on top of a block of flats
  • Peng Qiugen has transformed his rooftop in Shaoxing in east China's Zhejiang provice into a fertile farmland
  • Grows rice, watermelons and vegetables on the 120-square-metre paddy, which sits more than 40 feet above ground


PUBLISHED: 16:29 GMT, 18 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:45 GMT, 18 November 2013

Where do you find the space to harvest rice in a city of more than 4million people?

On the roof of your house, according to one Chinese farmer.

Peng Qiugen has transformed the rooftop of his four-storey house in Shaoxing in east China's Zhejiang province into a fertile farmland.

As well as rice, he grows watermelons, vegetables and other crops on the 120-square-metre paddy, which sits more than 40 feet above the ground.

The farmer has dedicated months to harvesting his produce since completing the rooftop conversion several years ago.

 His unusual creation has drawn the attention of locals in the overcrowded city - with many offering to help Mr Qiugen harvest his crops.
It also appears to have solved a difficult conundrum faced by many countries around the world - how to produce enough food for an ever-increasing population when land and space is rapidly running out.

Despite its alternative appearance, Mr Qiugen's rice paddy has boasted an impressive harvest year on year, according to China Daily.

It has produced a 30 per cent higher yield than is expected on ground-level land - with a staggering 400kg of watermelons grown on the roof in 2012 alone. 

And this year, the farmland's produce is reportedly sufficient enough to feed an adult for a whole year.

However, despite its success, agricultural experts have warned that people should seek out professional advice before attempting to cultivate farmlands on top of their homes. 

It is not the first time a novel creation has been erected in Shaoxing, which has a population of about 4.3million people.

Earlier this year, the world's longest and widest multi-pylon cable-stayed bridge was opened in the city - which is situated 200km south-east of Shanghai - following seven years of construction work.

The Jiaxing-Shaoxing Sea Bridge, which stretches 6.2miles over the Hangzhou Bay, is supported by two cable towers - each one towering a whopping 745ft in the air.

It is designed for vehicles travelling exclusively above 60mph - with pedestrians, motorbikes and cars with a maximum speed below 45mph not allowed to cross.


Anonymous said...

Salam Tan Sri.
Saya cadangkan jika adanya keratan akhbar-akhbar lama yang mengata dan mengeji idea-idea yang menjangkaui waktu (pada masa itu), diharapkan agar ianya dapat dijadikan satu entry baru di blog Tan Sri. Ingin juga tahu apakah pandangan dan dari perspektif manakah mereka lihat cadangan Tan Sri itu sebagai cadangan 'tak masuk akal?' atau apakah mereka sendiri yang berfikiran dangkal?


RD. said...

Saya adalah penyokong UMNO yang amat kecewa Akramsyah dan Mukhriz kalah PAU lepas. Saya sekarang berada di persimpangan, tak tahu Party mana yang saya nak sokong.

Saya masih ingat lagi cadangan TS supaya kita tanam padi atas bumbung rumah dan saya sokong. Tapi apa yang rakyat marhean macam saya boleh buat melainkan sokong dalam hati sendiri saja lah.

Pada saya ini adalah idea yang bernas, selain boleh menyejukan suhu dalam rumah. Tapi binaannya mesti kukuh.

Harap MB Mukhriz membaca tulis TS ini.

Anonymous said...

Cadangan tanam padi atas bumbung ..jenaka zaman dahulu.

tapi mungkin bukan lagi tetapi perlu ada teknologinya sistem saliran serta medium ...aquaponik satu option.....

stenote said...

Good blog and informative..... keep-up the good work... May I share an article about the Longji Rice Fileds in Guilin , China, in
Watch also in youtube