Padi farmers in M'sia losing money due to hot spell, Latest World News - The New Paper

Padi farmers in M'sia losing money due to hot spell

KEDAH – Padi farmers in Kedah are experiencing lower production yield due to the prolonged hot spell, resulting in their income dwindling by about 40 per cent during the harvest season.

Padi farmer Wan Maharuddin Sulaiman, 67, said the current hot weather had badly affected crops.

“Other factors which contributed to the lower production were rare diseases,” he added.

Mr Wan Maharuddin, who has been a padi farmer for the past 20 years, said most farmers in the Pokok Sena and Muda Agri-cultural Development Authority (Mada) areas are now in the midst of harvesting their crops.

He said some have even finished harvesting and are currently awaiting further instructions from Mada on the new padi planting season.

“While waiting for the new planting season, we’re using the time to repair the fields. This is also the time (for us) to fix patches or holes in the fields,” he added.

Another farmer, Mr Abdul Rahman Musa, 70, said padi farmers in Pendang were taking on other jobs to earn income during the hot spell.

“While waiting for the new season, some of us do ‘kampung jobs’ such as gardening or helping at the ‘nat’ (morning market),” he said.

“Older farmers like me spend time at home with our families and go to the surau to perform prayers and listen to sermons.”

Mr Abdul Rahman said the weather in Pendang currently is scorching hot and farmers are trying to minimise their outdoor activities.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) issued a heatwave warning for several areas such as Padang Terap, Sik, Baling, Kuala Muda, Pendang and Kota Setar.

The weather forecast for Kedah had indicated two weeks of sunny days, with sporadic rainfall and storms, starting on March 17.

A check on the MetMalaysia website found that the temperature in Kedah will be between 35 degrees and 37 degrees over the next few days.

Mada said: “Farmers are advised to manage water usage efficiently to ensure that the water supply can be distributed effectively and to avoid wastage." – THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK