CAP urges the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and relevant agencies to review the effects of the direct seeding system practised by paddy farmers in this country so as to ensure higher yield in the future.
In a survey conducted by CAP, we found that the direct seeding method in paddy cultivation has caused many problems to farmers although admittedly it is not labour intensive and cuts cost.
Among the problems identified following the practices of the modern way of planting paddy is threat of pests such as the Golden Apple Snail, rats, caterpillars and brown planthopper; crop diseases; seeds immersed in water; dried paddy field and the proliferation of many types of weed in the paddy fields.
Each season, farmers spend hundreds of thousands of ringgit to address those problems as well as suffer huge losses as a result of the decrease in yield.
CAP hopes that the relevant parties pay serious attention to this matter by studying the causes of these problems. Measures must be taken to ensure the problems do not persist as it will threaten the agriculture sector and our food resources in the future.
CAP suggests that the transplanting system or cedung (traditional method) is practised by the farmers of this country to replace the direct seeding method which has caused many problems for them.
This planting system will enable farmers to easily safeguard their crop from various threats, and also reduce the use of pesticides that may affect their health and the environment.
At the same time the government should provide proper drainage and adequate water supply to ensure paddy growth is not stunted. CAP has found that there were still many areas in the MADA scheme in Kedah and Perlis; and Kerian Sungai Manik in Perak that do not have sufficient irrigation and drainage facilities which has given rise to various problems for the affected farmers.
Press Statement, 14 August 2012