Govt urged to consider special aid for padi farmers

The government has been urged to consider providing immediate special assistance to registered padi farmers whose income is affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and poor crop yield.

Chairman of the Johor Gerak Tani Organisation, Datuk Mazlan Aliman said the affected padi farmers are those registered under the federal government’s padi fertiliser scheme (SBPKP) and the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry’s padi fertiliser and hill padi pesticide scheme (SBPRP).

Following the request, he suggested the government to review the scope under the Padi Crop Disaster Fund which only compensated farmers whose crops are damaged due to floods.

“The prolong outbreak of COVID-19, pest attack on the crop and extreme weather are examples of the causes of losses incurred by the farmers.

“It also causes deep emotional impact on farmers that some of them decide to quit planting padi or change to other crops, while a few sell off their farming lots, thus forcing the government to increase rice imports,” he said in a statement here today.

He said the special assistance could be in the form of one-off or on a monthly basis at a reasonable rate.

“Most importantly, the special assistance will provide some relief and motivation for farmers as a sign of the government’s concern for them who are also the ‘frontliners’ to the country’s food security,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency