Paddy farmers lose thousands of ringgit in rat attacks

POKOK SENA (Bernama) – More than 60 paddy farmers in Kampung Kolam, in Tualang sub-district in Malaysia faced losses amounting to several hundred thousands ringgit when almost 90 per cent of their crops had been destroyed by rats and other pests in the past two months.

One of the affected paddy farmers, Zulkifli Ramli, 42, said the problems could be due to the system of drainage which was frequent blocked during the rainy season, making it difficult for them to control the breeding of pests.

“We used to pour pesticides into the paddy fields to control rats and other pests but when drainage system failed, the paddy fields became waterlogged during rain.

“The excess water diluted the poison in the paddy fields and rendered them ineffective to control rats which continued to grow in greater number and attacked our crops,” he told Bernama.

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 30 hectares of paddy feilds 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 paddy 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.

Farmers, Zulkifli Ramli, 42 (R) and Oii Jee Kok, 60 (L) show healthy paddy crops and destroyed crops for comparison at their fields in Tualang. PHOTO: BERNAMA