General

Pests, bacteria attack paddy crop in Kerian

– An attack by the brown planthopper has destroyed 160ha of rice fields in Compartment A, B and C in Tanjung Piandang and Kuala Kurau, in the Kerian district.

As a result, 68 farmers have suffered losses totalling RM192,000, said Perak Plantations, Agriculture and Food Industries Committee chairman, Razman Zakaria.

He said that besides this, about 150ha was attacked by the rice stink bug (Pentatomoidea) and 80ha by the Pseudomonas oryzicola bacteria, as well.

“He said the attack has led to a high amount of paddy having to be cut and jeopardising crop yield.

“We can’t ignore the problem stems from the use of illegal seeds by the farmers,” he told reporters today after visiting affected sites in Parit Haji Ali and Pusat Pembelian Padi under the Tanjung Piandang Area Farmers’ Organisation (PPK).

Razman, who is also the Gunung Semanggol state assemblyman, said the Agriculture Department has asked the farmers to spray smoke over paddy that is aged 80 – 85 days as a pest control measure.

“They are not encouraged to use pesticide on paddy that is 90 – 105 days old because it will be absorbed by the plant and contaminate the rice,” he said.

On the cutting of the crop at this time, Razman said it was still at a low rate – 23-26 per cent – but there is a possibility it could increase if the situation is not brought under control.

He said the state government will discuss providing aid to the affected Kerian farmers via the Disaster Fund.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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