KLANG: Padi farmers in Selangor’s rice bowl Sekinchan are replanting in full force for the new season despite the abnormally hot weather, to prevent a serious shortage of rice.
Samudin Abdullah, 49, who has eight plots in the Sungai Leman area, said he and the other farmers had planted new crops two days ago.
So far, he said, everything had gone on without a glitch although the farmers had to hydrate the plots frequently as opposed to the usual practice of only once when replanting.
“We usually let the water into the plots once for replanting and the water remains throughout the replanting period.
“This time around, the plots dried up and I had to flood my plots at least four times,” said Samudin.
He added that farmers had to also manually pump the water into the plots as there was too little for it to flow into the waterways and into the plots.
This required the farmers to constantly pump water manually from their water catchment ponds into the rice fields.
“The hot weather has also caused rapid growth of weeds and other parasitic plants. We have to keep weeding and buy more pesticide,” he added.
Samudin’s fellow padi farmer Ng Oon Chai, who has seven plots in the same area, said the cost of caring for the seedlings until harvest time had gone up because they had to pay for extra man-hours and pesticide.
“We have to cough up at least RM1,000 more for each plot,” he said.
Ng added that he hoped the yield would be high and of good quality, despite the hot spell.