Unveiling the History of the Muda Agricultural Development Authority


Down the Memory Lane
    Rice is one of the most important crops in the world civilization. In the history of human progress, have shown that the era of modern agriculture has flourished from ancient times until the coming millenium. As a man who can bring benefit to all beings on this earth, growing sectors in Islamic civilization has many advantages that are very far away and better than the West in the past. The development of civilization started from the development of science that is used to help people manage all affairs of life.

    The changes should be made in the present example, where the current instability of many people who manage the life sector. One of the important sectors which are included in meeting the needs of every human being is the agricultural sector. In this case, agriculture has a key role and it is important to be dealt with in supporting other sectors of life. Changes time has shown that progress in the agricultural sector has been excellent progress with the various sciences as well as the latest information.

Policy changes
Following the fall in the market price of tin and rubber in the twenties. British colonial government has started to take a meansto increase local rice production. Earlier, the government in tin and rubber trading only make the British Colonial government prefers to import rice from rice companies develop local.

However, the agricultural sector has contributed to the foundation of the Malaysian economy in the post-independence era with the contribution to GDP of 46% in 1957. At the time, economic activity is focused on agriculture and mining. The number of workers involved in this sector in 1966 was 80.3%.

From Policy to Implementation Project
Rice is a strategic commodity for the country as it is the staple food of most of the population in Malaysia. At the same time commodities are important to the stability and growth of the population as consumers spend most of their income to buy rice.

Starting from 1955 and continuing until a few years after independence, the rice sufficiency through local production has become the government’s main policy. In line with that policy, the government has launched a number of agricultural projects under the First Malaysia Plan (1965 – 1970), the largest of these projects is the Muda Irrigation Scheme.

Muda Irrigation Project initial proposal has been put forward by the Federal Department of Drainage and Irrigation in the 1950s. Between 1960 to 1964, Sir William Halcrow consulting firm DNG Partner (United Kingdom) has been given the task of conducting a feasibility study on the implementation of the Muda Irrigation Project. The final report of the study has been submitted to the government and the World Bank in early 1965.

As early as September 1964, the government has applied for a loan from the World Bank to finance part of the construction cost of the project with partly borne by the government itself. The World Bank prepared a final assessment of the Muda Irrigation Project proposals between February-March 1965.Seterusnya on 16 November 1965 a loan of US $ 45 million were approved and the agreement was signed the next day. The loan became effective on February 1, 1966.

The construction work was started in April 1966. In early 1970, the first stage of the irrigation was started in an area of approximately 33,600 hectares of off-season crops. Irrigated areas was implemented in four stages to be completed in 1974.

Government policy had also changed from merely producing enough rice to a policy of increasing the welfare of the farming community.

The concept of the Muda Irrigation Scheme
Under the Muda Irrigation Scheme, a system of irrigation and drainage are provided in parts of western mainland Kedah and Perlis to enable the planting of two crops of rice a year. The causes of water is made up of rain continues in the field, running water from surrounding rivers and water collected in ponds reservoirs Muda and Pedu. The causes of water are integrated into the system to cater for both the crop season.

Construction of two dams on the upper reaches of Sungai Muda and Pedu river, which is about 80 km to the east of the project area, has established a retention ponds Muda and Pedu. Water from the Young streamed to the Pedu through a tunnel built under the ground Saiong of about 7.2 km. Water is released from the Sungai Pedu Pedu Dam and Sungai Padang Terap flowing through up until the Pelubang Regulator. Pelubang Regulator air flow is split into two channels, namely the Grand Canal of North and South Grand Canal. The water from these canals will enter the branch canals and irrigation canals, secondary distribution before entering the field. Besides drainage, farm roads, ridges, beach ridges alongside various other related construction has also been built. The entire project has a cost of about $ 238 million.

The Birth of MADA
During the early stage of implementation, the Muda Irrigation Scheme was very much an engineering project per se. The general idea at that time was that development based on agriculture will ignite by itself if basic facilities were provided by the government. No detailed planning was made to harmonize in detail the roles which had to be played by several departments, e.g. the Drainage and Irrigation Department and also the Department of Agriculture.

In mid-1967, ie after the construction work runs for one and a half years, there was a sudden initial planning of incompleteness. Consequently an office of the Project has been established under the Ministry of Agriculture in August 1967 and administered in Kuala Lumpur. Because of this office is unable to act effectively, the administration office was moved to Alor Star in 1969. However, no development program can be designed and implemented properly due to the power of the existing executive Coordinator was limited due to the different jurisdictions that exist among several state and federal departments. Meanwhile, the two State Government Kedah and Perlis faced difficulties in development expenditure and operating expenditure and maintenance projects.

Therefore, the government has decided to set up a statutory body to replace the Office of the Project. On June 30, 1970 was born the Muda Agricultural Development Authority under an emergency decree with the names start of the Muda Agricultural Development Authority. Opening was done by the late Tun Hj. Abdul Razak Hussein, the Acting Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Director of Operations in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the building, Alor Star, Kedah Darul Aman.

MADA Establishment was approved by Parliament under Act 70, Muda Agricultural Development Authority Act, 1972. Under the Act, the duties of MADA was outlined as follows: –

To improve, encourage, assist and manage economic development projects in the Muda area, and
  To plan and manage within the Muda area all agricultural development as assigned to it by the State Governments of Kedah and Perlis.

Two main objectives were set by MADA based on the aspects of human development and commodity. The objectives were:-

To improve the socio-economic well being of a large portion of the rural population, and

To increase the rice production for national requirements.

Organization Structure
As the main role played by MADA is to influence, move and unite the farmers into a dynamic and progressive community, the MADA organizational structure was formed to combine administrative services, engineering, agriculture and training into a management flexible.

The integrated planning which combined expert  from inside and outside the department has become the main practice for consensus regarding decisions to implement the best programmes. Through the concept of Area Development, the MUDA area has been divided into 27 development localities, whose supervision are controlled by the four MADA Regional offices. In addition, at each locality an agricultural movement complex,