THE scorching weather coupled with the fasting month earlier this year has delayed padi planting and harvesting in Kedah.
Pertubuhan Persaudaraan Pesawah Malaysia executive committee Abdul Rashid Yob said the first phase of padi planting was supposed to be from March to April, followed by the second phase from April to May and third phase from May to June.
“However, due to the hot weather which started in March, farmers have struggled to work in the fields, especially during the fasting month in April.
“Due to the challenges, the harvest scheduled from July to August may be delayed from August to October this year,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said although the delay in harvesting might not affect the supply of rice in the market, farmers’ income would be reduced.
“It is estimated that there will be 20% less production.
“Not just padi, but other crops are also affected,” he said.
“Padi farming requires farmers to be outdoors during the day, so the hot weather is taking a toll on their health.
“Temperatures are soaring to 37 degrees Celsius.
“The Meteorological Department has predicted that the hot spell will last until September,” he said.
At present, there are about 300,000 padi farmers in the country with about 60,000 of them based in Kedah, according to Abdul Rashid.
On water supply to the fields, he said it was still sufficient.
However, there are some padi fields where the water supply has been disrupted due to poorly maintained infrastructure, he said.