Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Paddy Production and Climate Change Variation in Selangor, Malaysia

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Paddy Production and Climate Change Variation in Selangor, Malaysia

Article excerpt

Abstract

The North West Selangor Integrated Agriculture Development Agency (NWS-IADA) has the most productive agricultural land in Selangor. This is partly because of the inherent high fertility of the soils, and the moderate variable climate. However, with the increasing global concern about climate impacts, there is a need to examine the issue and this article presents a study that examined the relative importance of climate influences on the paddy production rate over 28 years (1980-2008). Data collection involved compiling and analyzing climate records from MARDI Tg. Karang auxiliary station (Station no. 44325, 24m m.s.l) at the coordinates of N 03° 27' 17'' E 101° 09' 24''. The results indicate that the average rainfall recorded was 1, 765 mm which is similar to the national rainfall trend. Meanwhile, the daily humidity varied between 94 - 96% (8.00 AM) and around 70% (2.00 PM) while the sunshine hours ranged between 2.3 to 9.5 hours. A correlation analysis between the production yield and climatic data at the studied area for the year 2000 - 2008 showed that for precipitation, rainfall is redundant during the main season while during the offseason it bears direct effect on the production yield with R^sup 2^ value of -0.293 and 0.1715, respectively. Sunshine hours and temperature demonstrate their importance to production yield as suggested by their respective R^sup 2^ values.

Keywords: weather trend, paddy planting, climate trend, agriculture, irrigation

1. Introduction

Paddy planting in Malaysia is synonymous with the rural community and traditional farming. The Government of Malaysia has initiated measures to assist the local paddy producing community through the introduction of incentives such as declaring the rice crop a security crop, launching of the National Agriculture Act (1992-2010), upgrading of existing irrigation systems and building of new irrigation systems, introducing market price control and other measures to further boost local production (Mahmudul et al., 2011). The local paddy producing community is self-sustainable, covering up to 86% of local market demand while the remaining unfulfilled market demand is mitigated by importing rice from the neighbouring rice producing countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, India and Cambodia. Increasing crop yield is the main agenda of most local paddy growers through measures such as the introduction of new cultivars, reviewing existing planting practices such as fertilizing and pesticide cycle, type and amount of fertilizer and pesticide used and the intensity and frequency of such cycle.

Traditionally, Malaysia is a rice-growing country in which the irrigation system has gone through evolution over the past decades where new ideas have been implemented and new technologies have also been introduced. The government, through their agencies such as the Drainage and Irrigation Malaysia (DID), Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) and Kemubu Agriculture Development Authority (KADA), plays a vital role in improving the irrigation system throughout the region. Hence, farmers currently could implement double and triple cropping of rice in a year since 1988 and 1999, respectively in comparison to the traditional irrigation system which only enables farmers to plant once a year. Although there was a substantial reduction in rainfall and overall availability of water resources for irrigation in the region in the 1980s, farmers were still able to increase the total crop output by about 16% over the decade (Alam et al., 2012). However, with uncertainties on economic production and climate variability, producing more rice has become a continuous challenge for the government and paddy farmers. This includes the efficient utilization of water resources, good management practices and precise information, such as annual effective rainfall, runoff, consumptive use, and water release policy. In this regard, ideal water management can be achieved through the delivery of the right amount of irrigation water at the right time to the fields to increase crop yield. …

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