TAWAU HAS BIG POTENTIAL FOR PRODUCTION OF CILI PADI SEMERAH, SAYS MARDI

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TAWAU, May 5 (Bernama) -- Tawau has the potential to become a major producer

of the cili padi Semerah, says the Principal Research Officer of the Malaysian

Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Datin Dr Melor Rejab.

Melor said the cili padi Semerah which was developed by Mardi 17 years ago,

is the most easiest to look after, although there are some techniques for

planting and management that needs to be observed to ensure a satisfactory

yield.

"The demand for the cili padi Semerah is very encouraging and is an

excellent opportunity for the farmers of Tawau," she told Bernama after visiting

a number of chili padi Semerah farms at Kampung Sungai Tongkang, Pulau Sebatik

today.

Yesterday, about 100 farmers from throughout Tawau attended a course on

technology transfer in the farming of the cili padi Semerah, organised by the

Tawau Agricultural Department and the Tawau Youth and Sports Department and

coordinated by Melor.

A farmer, Ismail Majid, 29, said he began the cili padi Semerah farm two

years ago by planting 400 plants with the help of his brother.

His first attempt failed but it motivated him to contact the Area

Agricultural Department and Farmers Organisation for advise and assistance.

Last December, he tried once again to plant 400 cili padi Semerah plants in

the conventional way and finally succeeded in harvesting between 40kg-50kg at

each harvest of thrice a week.

Ismail said that he has now planted 1,200 cili padi Semerah plants using the

Fertiliser Irrigation method and 200 more through the conventional way and they

were now beginning to provide a yield.

He said at present, 15 youths including women, were involved in the planting

of the cili padi Semerah on Pulau Sebatik on an area of about 63.13 hectares

(156 acres).

On marketing, Ismail said he faced no problems as a company, Wealthy Empire

Management Sdn Bhd was ready to purchase the cili anytime.

Wealthy Empire Management manager Syed Abdullah Mohammad said he welcomed

farmers in Tawau planting the cili padi Semerah and his company was willing to

purchase at a fair price.--BERNAMA

IL NAM AS

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