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Thursday July 28, 2011

Use eco-friendly farming methods

Farmer's bane: Dr Ramanjaneyulu (right) and Mohamed Idris showing the Golden Apple Snails which feed on padi saplings.

THE time has come for local padi farmers to shift to more sustainable farming methods which are more environment friendly, said Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president S.M. Mohamed Idris.

“Farmers should not resort to using banned substances to remove pests such as the Golden Apple Snails (siput gondang emas) which feed on padi saplings.

“They should revert back to traditional farming methods to prevent impacting the environment in a negative way,” he told a press conference held at CAP’s office.

Also present at the press confe-rence was Dr G. V. Ramanjaneyulu, an Agricultural Scientist from the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) in India.

Dr Ramanjaneyulu said farmers in Malaysia should opt for the more eco-friendly methods of farming such as the System of Rice Intensification model developed in Madagascar.

“The system, which is currently being used in countries such as Indonesia but not in Malaysia, will help to produce higher crop yields.

“Biological methods such as introducing other agents, which can be insects or other types of animals, should not be used to deal with pests as it will have a negative impact on the environment,” he said.

Hardy pests: A close-up of the Golden Apple Snails.

Dr Ramanjaneyulu said the pheromone trap as well as using lights to attract the pests away from crops were good sustainable methods.

“Pheromones are chemicals produced by female insects to attract the males so such traps can be used on the male insects to exterminate and prevent them from reproducing.”

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