FACTORS AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION OF RICE IN MALAYSIA
We would like to point out the factors affecting the production of rice in our country. Climate and the nature of soil, insect-pest and weed management, land areas, infrastructure, technologies and mechanization, dependency on other rice producers, investment and collaboration with international organization are the major factors that affect the rice productivity in Malaysia. In temperate and tropical climate areas, rice is grown mostly under irrigated lowland ecosystem, once a year during the warm months that are when the temperature regimes are suitable for growth and development of rice plants. However, with available irrigation water, rice can be grown more than one crop per year in tropical climate areas such as Malaysia. Other than that, rain fed lowland ecosystems also found in tropical areas which water supply to rice crops comes principally from rainfall. The low grain yields of the rice is attributed to the poor management by the farmers during the cultivation period, where fields are left unattended after sowing without any monitoring on plant nutrients and other critical aspects, such as weeds, diseases, and insect-pest attacks. Therefore, with good management practices, the application of adequate plant nutrient and water, together with weeds, diseases, and insect-pests management, the grain yields of upland rice varieties are expected to increase. All these aspects are therefore important in obtaining higher yields. However, MARDI will use fewer pesticides and go into organic farming with bio-fertilizer. It very important to reduce the importation of pesticides and chemicals, considering their cost and affect on our environment. The rice production areas in Malaysia are decreasing (in the year 1970-1980) because good rice areas, near development centers are being converted for other uses(refer to figure 8). As the results, the grain yields of rice are expected to decrease. Since the 1980s,...
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