More than 30 Melaka padi farmers affected by lack of good irrigation system

04 Jun 2023 04:09pm
Image for illustrative purposes only – FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only – FILE PIX

MELAKA - More than 30 padi farmers with a total area of more than 145 hectares in Kampung Pinang, Batang Tiga here have been affected as they are unable to carry out planting activities due to the lack of good irrigation system as well as the hot spell for the past months.

The head of the Kampung Pinang rice farmers group Mohd Shakirin Mohd Zan, 37, said the padi fields are lacking water resources and the ploughing and sowing process which should have been done in April was disrupted.

He said the situation also caused some of the crops planted during the previous season could not be harvested as their growth was stunted (padi bentat) affecting those who are mostly full-time farmers.

"Rice cultivation activities can normally be done twice a year, in April and November, but we are facing a situation of lack of water resources since more than 10 years ago.

"This has not only hindered planting activities, but the quality of the harvested rice is also low,” he told reporters today.

Besides that, they are also facing other risks such as damaged padi seeds, and the threat of pigeons and rats, he said.

He said padi farmers in the area hoped that the state government can speed up the promised irrigation project or build a concrete drain to channel water from Sungai Klebang to the rice fields.

According to him, it is crucial to do so as it will save the farmers whose livelihood solely depended on rice cultivation as well as help the government increase rice production to ensure the country's food security.

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Meanwhile, Musa Arib, 63, said he had to fork out extra expenses to buy water barrels to provide water to his 3.6-hectare padi field, adding he had to face the risk of damaged padi seeds if he failed to cultivate the crop according to the schedule as the seeds can only last six months.

"Farmers incur losses...when there is no sufficient source of water supply... I have been facing this situation for the past 16 years and I almost gave up.

"We are almost at our wit's end...we ask the government to help us because most of the farmers here have been cultivating padi for a long time and we are also helping the government increase the country's food supply," he added. - BERNAMA