Padi farmers in Kerian suffer RM56 million in losses due to El Nino

30 Apr 2016

BAGAN SERAI: Padi farmers in the Kerian district are suffering losses totalling RM56 million due to the heat wave. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said 8,097 hectares of 21,108has padi fields in the distict were affected by the El Nino, involving 3,175 farmers. "Although the government has not declared it as a disaster area, we will continue to help them. "We have no specific fund for such a problem but we will find ways to help ease their burden," he said after visiting the affected farmers at Kampung Dew here today.

Present were Agriculture Department director-general Datuk Ahmad Zakaria Mohamad Sidek, Kerian Intergrated Agriculture Development Area director Zahimi Hassan and Bagan Serai member of parliament Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali. Kerian has more than 8,000 farmers and they been produce 36,000 metric tonnes of padi every harvest.

Tajuddin said the water level at Bukit Merah dam was still within the stage three critical level and the authorities would have to wait until May 15 before they could decide whether the water could be released to the padi fields. He said the government would use the RM4 million allocation for farmers affected by the El Nino, to help padi growers in Kerian district. Apart from digging tube wells, he said more water pumps would be sent to the affected area in Kerian district to help irrigate the drying padi fields. "Kerian district, which is one of the main padi producers, is facing a massive problem when 4,600 hectares of padi fields are yet to be planted with seedlings due to lack of water," he said.


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