Sungai Petani is the second largest city, in the State of Kedah, it is called the rice bowl of Malaysia, as it produces the majority of rice for the country of Malaysia. 31.05% of all the rice produced in Malaysia could be traced back to Kedah, making Sungai Petani a major contributor to Malaysia’s rice production. Factors contributing to this cities’ success in growing rice is the fertile soil in the area because of the Sungai river running through Sungai Petani, continued annually
Rice is a complicated food source, but because of it’s complexity people are able to maximize yields year after year. In order to grow rice, the area being grown in, must be flooded, so that the rice plant’s roots can get nutrient directly from the water. Flooded areas are called paddies, not only can one grow rice fish can also be grown without effecting crop yields. This must be done in advance to accept sprouted seed from the seedbeds. In LEDC’s this is all done by hand and is a back breaking job, done mostly by females, and if needed males would help out. In order to flooded fields and create paddies, one must construct “Bunds” and dams, to control the water for the paddies to ensure that it stays flooded, in Sungai Petani they rely on the Petani river to provide their fields with water. When farmers grow rice year after year the nitrogen and nutrients in the soils becomes depleted so all farmers use either chemicals, or manure to fertilize the paddies.
Sungai Petani is a large village in Malaysia and has many sub-areas, with many of the rice paddies north of the Petani river, the average size of each farm .25km2. North of the Petani river the rice paddies are paired up with a house, while south of the Petani river there are high population density, and less paddies being paired with housing. The layouts of the farms are well planed as most bunds are in a straight line, and secondary roads running north to south and east to west. The housing on a rice farm is minimalist in Sungai Petani using organic materials to build their houses, however south of the Petani river most houses not on rice farms are modern, made with modern materials.
In this city the rice is planted in September to October, as each farm helps each other out in intensive procedures, such as planting and harvesting. The rice is left to grow, while farmers weed the fields to improve quality and quantity. The first phase in rice growing is the vegetative phase as the rice plant continues to grow in height, and the development of leaves. The next phase is reproductive phase last around 25-35 days, more leaves will develop, and flowers are now present. The last phase is the ripening phase, which also last 25-35 days, the stems and leaves start to dry out, being ready for harvest. After harvesting, the rice is dried and threshed, to separate the rice and the stalks, when the rice is process most of the rice is shipped out around the world, while some of it is used by the village.
In the years Sungai Petani has been growing rice, not many changes have been made as most labor is still done manually, and with the same bunds, however some farmers have enough input budget to use different variety of rice. Using these HYVs have improve quantity, by being more resistant to disease and pests.
The future of this city in rice production, should be very well as it is one of the biggest city to produce rice, and with off shore businesses investing in their farms, such as NCER as they wish to improve “padi yield of malaysia’s rice bowl to six to eight tones of grain per hectare by 2012 what at the same time, halving the current 5.7% poverty rate” because is such an important resource to the world as it provides food to more than half of the world. However because most countries are becoming urbanized eventually Sungai Petani will become urbanized converting rice fields into developed land.
Corifa Malaysia facts
Cuti Malaysia Kedah
CIA world factbook
Sungai Petani map
Pictures of rice padi
Rice facts and figures