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.
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.