Farmers in Kedah Continue to Face Problems

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Agriculture Department and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) of Kedah to investigate and take immediate action to resolve the water supply problem faced by rice farmers who had joined the Kampung Baru Mini Estate project in Padang Sanai, PadangTerap district in the state of Kedah.

Farmers here suffered huge losses amounting to thousands of ringgit during the recent harvesting season due to the decline in yield. Besides the poor income, several farmers here had to abandon their rice fields because they could not put in anymore effort to address the problems.

In addition to insufficient water supply, farmers are also facing the problem of deficient irrigation system and serious threat of Eleusine indica weed (rumput sambau).

Commenting on a report in a local newspaper on this matter (Sinar Harian: 28 September 2016), CAP expresses its concern and hopes the relevant departments take appropriate action to resolve the problems faced by farmers in the village.

CAP views that these problems should not have occurred and the responsible party should have provided comprehensive basic infrastructure as the rice growing area here is under a Mini Estate project.

CAP believes that if the source of the problem is not addressed immediately, not only the participants of the Mini Estate in the village alone will suffer huge losses, but also rice production in the country’s rice bowl will be affected and reduced in the future.

CAP’s survey found many problems occurred in the rice fields in Kedah, including under the administration of the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) which had affected crop yield and income of farmers here.

In addition to inadequate water supply and imperfect irrigation and drainage system, the farmers in this state often face the problem of quaking soil and increasing pest attacks. Although these problems have been going on for some time, they have yet to be resolved effectively.

Press Statement, 4 October 2016