ALOR SETAR: The Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada) has started releasing water from three dams into padi fields under its jurisdiction for the first planting season this year.
Mada general manager Fouzi Ali said the Phase One release of water from yesterday from the Pedu, Ahning and Muda dams were for Mada’s Region I to Region IV covering 35,456 hectares of padi fields in various places in Perlis and Kedah and involving 16,724 farmers.
“This is to allow the farmers to carry out padi planting after a long period of dry and hot weather,” he told a group of journalists yesterday after bringing them to visit a padi field at Permatang Kaka in Megat Dewa, Kodiang near here.
He said among the areas receiving the water under the first phase were Arau, Kangar and Tambun Tualang in Perlis, and Kodiang, Sanglang, Tunjang and Pendang in Kedah.
“The last day for seeding for this phase is May 4 and last day of water supply is July 26,” Fouzi added.
He said the release of water under Phase Two for 43,321ha and Phase Three for 21,908ha would start on April 9 and 19 respectively.
The last days for seeding is May 14 and 24 while the last days of water supply is Aug 5 and 15 for the two phases, he said.
Fouzi said the storage in the Pedu, Ahning and Muda dams were sufficient to supply water for all three phases covering 100,685ha of padi fields with 55,130 farmers.
Permatang Kaka farmer Jaafar Ahmad, 62, said he felt relieved after Mada released water to the padi fields.
“It had been a long wait since the dry season began and now the padi planting activities can be carried out as usual by all the padi farmers in the area,” said Jaafar who is the supervisor of A-II Kodiang Area Farmers Organisation.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah has urged all mosques in the state to hold sunat Istiqa prayers for rain.
Ahmad Bashah was among about 1,500 Muslims who took part in such a prayer at the Masjid Zahir grounds here yesterday.