BPN aid helps put food on the table for hard-hit farmers


JITRA: Farmers who depend solely on the sale of their crops are among the hardest-hit by the March 18 movement control order (MCO).

As such, the assistance provided by the government, including the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) is a lifeline for them to cope with these trying times.

Hassan Jusoh, 57, a padi farmer in Kampung Bendahara, Kodiang near here said his income depends on his harvest – twice a year.

“I don’t have a fixed income. To make ends meets, I also do odd jobs (in between the padi planting season) but since the MCO, I cannot go out to take up jobs and I am feeling the burden now.

“I still have to provide for my family,” he said.

However, he said, the BPN assistance was a relief as it would provide him with some cash to buy essentials for the family.

Hassan added that he was able to earn RM4,000 from his padi harvest per season while his wife helped out by selling nasi lemak.

They have five children aged between 17 and 26, with one studying in school and the other attending a teachers’ training college.

As a recipient of the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), Hassan is eligible for BPN aid woth RM1,600 and RM600 in BSH while his two unmarried children will each receive RM800 and RM200 respectively.

Another farmer from the same village, Ku Ahmad Ku Hamid, 52, saw the BPN as unexpected cash aid, especially in the current situation.“The expenses are mostly on food. The BPN is a relief,” said the father of two children aged 18 and 21.Ku Ahmad has been a farmer for four years and earns about RM4,000 per season. He is eligible to receive BPN of RM1,600 and BSH of RM600.

A padi farmer in Kampung Pak Ubin, Zurin Jamaludin, 44, shared Ku Ahmad’s view on spending more on food in light of the MCO.

“Before the MCO was enforced, I bought food on a daily basis but now I have to buy food that can last my family up to four days, meaning spending more,” he said.

However, Zurin, who has been a farmer for 15 years, was grateful when the government announced the BPN, as he would also receive RM600 in BSH to support his family.

His eldest child, who is studying at Universiti Teknologi Mara, is eligible to receive RM200. — Bernama

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