Kelantan paddy farmers resigned to fate amid dry spell

KOTA BARU, March 28 — The majority of farmers in Kelantan are now left with no choice but to accept fate as their crops suffer severe damage and become unharvestable amidst the ongoing dry and scorching weather.

A survey by Bernama found that among the most severely affected paddy cultivation areas are North and South Kota Baru, especially around Ketereh, which solely relies on water supply from the Kemubu pump.

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Mukim Dusun Rendah Ketereh, Federal Village Development and Security Committee (JPKKP) chairman, Azman Jusoh, noted that complaints received revealed that a segment of the paddy fields, spanning about 40.4 hectares, is two months old and therefore in crucial need of adequate water for proper growth.

“The serious water supply crisis since last month has not only stunted the growth of the paddy but also caused it to turn reddish, resulting in farmers facing tens of thousands of ringgit in losses.

“This area relies solely on the Kemubu pump, so it faces a critical situation. And efforts to source alternative supply have also reached a dead end,” he told Bernama today.

Meanwhile, Cherang Rotan Farmers Organisation in Pasir Puteh, Kampung Lepah village head, Che Satar Mat Din, 64, disclosed that a segment of the 161.8-hectare padi fields in the region is also facing a similar disaster, with almost 24.2 hectares of paddy dying due to water scarcity.

“Another part of the area is still holding up, but the river water from Kampung Berangan, which farmers relied on, dried up last week.

“If the situation persists for the next two weeks, all the paddy in this area may also be irreversibly damaged,” he added, noting that he also faces losing 16.1 hectares of his paddy fields to these severe conditions.

Having been involved in paddy cultivation for the past 30 years, he hopes that the Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (Kada) will take more proactive measures in the upcoming seasons to prevent this problem, thereby assisting farmers in increasing rice production.

Previously, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), National Weather and Geophysics Operations Centre, director, Maqrun Fadzli Mohd Fahmi, stated that the prevailing hot and dry weather conditions are anticipated to alleviate with the onset of the Monsoon Transition Phase forecasted for early April. — Bernama

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