Showers of blessing up north

Blessings in abundance: Egrets searching for food in the water-filled padi fields after the rain in Bukit Mertajam.

ALOR SETAR: The almost daily showers in many parts of the northern region could not have come at a better time, especially for padi farmers, says Datuk Mahfuz Omar.

The Farmers’ Organisation Authority Kedah chairman described the recent regular rainfall as a blessing because it came just in time for the replanting season.

“It was worrying over the past two months but we are now seeing more rain. I hope the dams will be replenished,” he told reporters here yesterday.

He said the crops in this area had not suffered much damage during the ongoing dry season as the farmers were well prepared for an extended period of drought.

A file photo of padi farmer Lau Chin sun, 70, clearing dry padi from his fields in Permatang Pauhbefore the recent rains.  A file photo of padi farmer Lau Chin sun, 70, clearing dry padi from his fields in Permatang Pauhbefore the recent rains.

On cloud seeding, Mahfuz said there were no updates on the matter.

Last year, Kedah announced efforts to help padi farmers plant five times every two years by increasing aid for fertiliser, seeds and pesticides aimed at boosting national food security.

The usual planting schedule in Kedah is twice a year.

Kedah accounts for 43% of Malaysia’s rice production, while the country imports more than 30% of its rice needs annually.

Meanwhile, Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan said the state would decide whether a second cloud seeding operation was needed.

“PBAPP will continuously monitor the situation because we need more rain for the dams in Ayer Itam and Teluk Bahang.

“PBAPP proposed a second wave of cloud seeding operations early this month because both dams are still below 50% capacity,” he said.

As of yesterday, the Ayer Itam dam, which is the smallest in Penang, was at 46.1% capacity, while it was at 46.6% in Teluk Bahang.

The water level at the Air Itam dam was at 39.8% on May 15 before the recent daily showers.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Police arrest 25 more individuals in Ops Dadu Khas
DuitNow QR payment transaction fee will not burden low-income group, says Anwar
Trawlers caught off Kudat with RM1.5mil of endangered, prohibited marine animals
Tahfiz Fire: Youth Appeals to federal court against murder conviction
No urgent need for Cabinet reshuffle, says Anwar
Food security is a national issue says Johor MB
Fire breaks out in Pulau Ketam
Ipoh council blazes a trail with new road resurfacing method
Businessman charged with causing hurt to Indonesian maid
Open payment system on 11 highways officially begins today

Others Also Read