JITRA, Jan 13 (Bernama) -- The hot weather and drought that has hit the state is making some farmers nervous as their padi fields have dried up and cracked due to the insufficient water supply.
A Bernama survey at the padi fields in Kampung Pulau Maharaja in Padang Perahu near here found the padi have turned yellowish due to poor nutrition caused by insufficient fertiliser and water.
If the situation which began last November persists, the livelihood of about 50 farmers in the area will be at risk as they will lose their income for this season.
Farmer Zaki Ibrahim, 47, said the dry season and insufficient fertiliser have stunted the padi’s growth when it should be taller than waist level now since the seeds were planted on Nov 16.
“The rice growth has become stunted because we could not fertilise it as there is not enough water. The last time I applied fertiliser was when the padi was 20 days old. Now, it is almost 60 days,” he told Bernama here today.
PADI-DROUGHT 2 JITRA
Zaki, who owns five plots of padi fields, stands to lose between RM10,000 and RM11,000 if the hot weather continues.
Sharing his fate is fellow farmer Shukur Ahmad, 50, who owns eight plots of padi fields.
“If the water supply problem continues, my padi may be damaged and my estimated loss is between RM15,000 and RM16,000,” he said.
Shukur said he hopes that the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) will assist the farmers by providing adequate water supply so that padi cultivation is not adversely affected.
PADDY-DROUGHT 3 (LAST) JITRA
Meanwhile, Mada General Manager Datuk Fouzi Ali said Mada has met with the Kampung Pulau Maharaja Farmers Unit Head yesterday to discuss the water distribution system as water levels in the northern canal is currently low.
“The Pulau Maharaja pump has not been operating since yesterday morning while the Kampung Pulau Maharaja pump was operating at 10 am today, depending on the water level at the LBLBD1 Canal.
“This problem will be resolved soon. Mada urges all farmers to cooperate and optimise water usage. Farmers are also encouraged to ensure that there is no waste of water,” he said in response to the farmers’ complaint on the water supply.
He said a total of 821 mobile water pumps belonging to Mada has been distributed to affected farmers, adding Mada has also maximised the water reuse pumps at the 155 water recycling pump stations located in the Muda irrigation system.
"Farmers are also encouraged to use personal pumps to help irrigate the padi fields," he said.
TAG: Mada, drought, hot weather, water supply, farmers, padi, loss