— The Perak State Farmers’ Organisation (PPN) has recommended that attacks by brown planthoppers (BPH) on padi fields, be categorised as a calamity for the affected farmers to be eligible for disaster relief assistance.
Its chairman, Datuk Sham Mat Sahat said as BPH attacks had not been categorised as a type of disaster, the affected farmers had to bear the losses and were not eligible for any assistance.
“Nowadays only farmers whose padi fields are threatened by droughts and floods are eligible to receive disaster relief assistance. It is about time that BPH attacks be considered too,” he told reporters after attending the ‘Jom Minyak Percuma’ programme here today.
Sham Mat said PPN was concerned that if left uncontrolled, BPH attacks could be a threat to rice crops in Perak, and he planned to hold a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries on the matter.
“I have also asked the Department of Agriculture to conduct a census on the extent of damage caused by BPH attacks especially in the Tanjung Piandang (Kerian Laut) area, for submission to the state and federal governments, so that disaster aid can be considered,” he added.
Apart from that, Sham Mat said the organisation also wanted the issue of high padi yield reduction for this season to be addressed for the farmers to survive.
He said factories have refused to buy from the farmers due to excess of supply from foreign countries and this could affect the country’s padi industry.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency