POKOK SENA: More than 60 padi farmers in Kampung Kolam, in Tualang sub-district here, faced losses amounting to several hundred thousand ringgit after 90% their crops were destroyed by rats and other pests in the past two months.
One of the affected padi farmers, Zulkifli Ramli, 42, said the problems could be due to the system of drainage which was frequently blocked during the rainy season, making it difficult for them to control the breeding of pests.
“We used to pour pesticides into the padi fields to control rats and other pests but when the drainage system failed, the padi fields became waterlogged during rain.
“The excess water diluted the poison in the padi fields and rendered them ineffective to control rats which continued to grow in greater numbers and attacked our crops,” he told Bernama here.
According to him, there were owls which kept the growth of rats in check but the birds had probably died after eating the poisoned rats.
Zulkifli said about 30ha of padi farms in the village were destroyed by rats and other pests such as gold apple snails (SGE) and seed-eating birds.
“I myself have lost about RM6,000 when the entire padi field was destroyed,” he said.
In this regard, the Village Community Management Council secretary Ahmad Shukri Ishak, 51, said the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) and Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP) had been informed for further actions. — Bernama