Selangor Journal

BLB attack: Farmers losses almost RM5 million

BY AFIX REDZUAN
SEKINCHAN, DEC 5: Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) attacks have resulted in the destruction of a total area of 37,000 hectares of paddy fields in Sabak Bernam, at a loss of almost RM5 million.
Infrastructure, Public Amenities, Agricultural Modernisation and Agro-Based Industries Exco Zaidy Abdul Talib said that Sekinchan is facing the worst BLB attack the second season of this year, after the last attack in 2013.
 
“Previously, a hectare can yield nearly 10 tons but now it has gone down to below 5 tons.
“Losses in the Sekinchan area are estimated at RM5 million,” he said while reviewing paddy at Blok Sawah, Parit Lima Road with Sekinchan Assemblyman Ng Suee Lim.
Zaidy said so far there are no effective controls to prevent BLB attacks as people, equipment and wind could be carriers.
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However, he said the problem will be brought forward in the Exco and Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) meeting, this week.
Commenting on the same incident, Ng said that he had written a letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, for further action to be taken.
He said immediate assistance should be given to farmers who have suffered losses and had to shoulder debts incurred at this critical time, especially with the high cost of living.
“Now it is harvest season and farmers should be happy awaiting harvest at the end of the six months, but the BLB attack causes them difficulties instead.
“There are farmers who rent lots as high as RM6,500 per lot. This loss will cause them a lot of pressure as the school season will be starting soon, and as they are burdened with debts,” he said.

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