Location : Kampung Mujat, Mentu & Mongkos, Serian Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
While still mesmerized by Bunan Gega’s paddy field we took a short drive to Mujat and discover an equally mammoth field. Likewise, harvesting was manual. Both Bunan Gega and Mujat could have jointly acquired a harvesting machine to make the farmers’ lives easier. That is probably where the government can come in to help kick start for them. While the government is at it, tilling machines could come in handy too. What we saw in Skuduk, Payang and Chupak could be duplicated here as well. If triple cropping per year could be executed here, the earnings for these farmers would be substantial.
Gedung has been a well established rice supplier for Kuching for a long time. There are many more not so famous rice suppliers with smaller scale farms hidden away in the nooks and corners of Serian, many or which we have yet to uncover. Indeed, when all combined, Serian division could easily earn the title of the ‘Rice Bowl of Sarawak’ with the interesting mixture of both hill and wet paddy. Hopefully, the combine output from Bakelalan, Bario, Lawas and Tunoh, Sarawak can someday also establish rice export like it does for palm oil. The question is ‘how much can the Sarawak government commit to this’?
We drove a few kilometers of gravel road to Mentu area which was new to us. Mostly hill paddy cultivated here. Talking to the locals at Mentu Tapu we got zero info for either caves or waterfalls although the landscape here suggested otherwise. Sometimes it needs a few visits before locals feel confident enough to open up and start talking.
Moving on to Mongkos, we got quite disappointed as the café that we used to have our meals and refreshments was closed, since last year due to the lockdown.
We decided to end our trip for the day and drove back to Roxy Hotel. What a day with rice farmers and paddy fields.
Next and final…….Harvesting at Chupak.