Farmers’ Participation in Rice Straw-Utilisation in the MADA Region of Kedah, Malaysia

MZ Rosmiza, WP Davies, Rosniza CR Aznie, M Mazdi, MJ Jabil, Wan WY Toren, Che CM Rosmawati

Abstract


The greater engagement of cereal farmers in better straw-utilisation could probably reduce the adverse impacts of open burning of straw on the environment. However, it seems difficult to achieve with the current knowledge and ability of farmers being limited and also by other external factors. This study attempts, to assess the influence of various environmental and socio-economic factors that influence farmers managing straw in a more environmentally-friendly manner. The study focused on Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) agricultural region in Kedah. It involved 160 farmers, either involved in straw collection by MADA or utilising straw as a by-products for another purpose. Results show that several factors are influencing the stagnation of better straw-utilisation in the MADA region. It includes weather (humidity and rain); incentives that are not commensurate to farmers; inefficient straw collection technology; lack of logistic facilities (baler machines, storage and transportation); low level of skills and knowledge of farmers; inefficient management from agricultural agencies; and lack of capital to manage straw in their fields. Given the economic value and high potential, straw could become much more important by-product for farmers and local communities. Moreover, straw could also stimulate the wider rural economy through added-value industrial chain as well as more generally impoving the agricultural environment.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n23p229


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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