Kelantan farmers’ padi harvest threatened by dry spell

Dry conditions at a padi field around Ketereh in Kelantan. — Bernama

The majority of farmers in Kelantan are now left with no choice but to accept fate as their crops suffer severe damage amid the ongoing dry and scorching weather.

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

Mukim Dusun Rendah Ketereh Federal Village Development and Security Committee (JPKKP) chairman Azman Jusoh said a segment of the padi fields, spanning about 40.4ha, was two months old and in crucial need of adequate water.

“The serious water supply crisis has not only stunted the growth of the padi 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.

“Efforts to source alternative supply have also reached a dead end,” he said.

Cherang Rotan Farmers Organisation in Pasir Puteh, Kampung Lepah village head, Che Satar Mat Din disclosed that a segment of the 161.8ha padi fields in the region was also facing a similar crisis, with almost 24.2ha of padi dying because of water scarcity.

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

“If the situation persists, all the padi in this area may also be irreversibly damaged,” he added, noting that he also faced losing 16.1ha of his padi fields to these severe conditions.

Che Satar, who has been involved in padi cultivation for the past 30 years, hopes that the Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (Kada) will take proactive measures in upcoming seasons.

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