SEKINCHAN: The technology used by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in introducing the new padi seed, IS21, can help the farmers increase their crop yield 35 per cent higher than the national average.

MOSTI Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the seed, generated using nuclear technology with gamma radiation-induced mutation method, was developed by MOSTI's Malaysian Nuclear Agency.

"The mutation breeding technology is an alternative to the conventional breeding procedures and has vast potential to be used in the cultivation of agrofood crops.

"The seed generated through mutation breeding will have a high level of resistance to sudden weather changes, as well as biotic and abiotic pressures, while being able to grow faster and produce higher yield with better quality in terms of nutrition," he said at the launch of the IS21 Padi Seed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today.

Also present were Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee and Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

According to the pamphlet distributed to the media, IS21 is the abbreviation for Ismail Sabri and the year 2021.

Dr Adham said the IS21 padi seed was an example of a research finding that could be developed from laboratory to market, hence boosting the economic growth, improving the wellbeing of the people and ensuring food security and nutrition.

He said the development of the padi seed using the new technology had opened new businesses and job opportunities for the locals in Sekinchan and its surrounding areas.

In fact, he said the IS21 had also been recognised by the Committee on Government Subsidy Policy for Rice and Padi Industry as a valid national padi seed and included in the national padi subsidy list.

"Through this subsidy, padi farmers can get the seed at RM35 per 20 kg," he said.

So far, Dr Adham said over 15,000 padi farmers nationwide have received and cultivated the IS21 padi seeds.

-- BERNAMA