Perak farms hit by paddy blight

PARIT BUNTAR, 31 Dec 2019:

A total of 35 farmers in eight villages in Kuala Kurau suffered losses of RM400,000 after part of their paddy crop – covering a 62ha area – was infected with bacterial panicle blight early this month.

Perak Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Agriculture and Plantation Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Yunus Jamahri said the disease had resulted in empty grains.

“The cause of the infection is still being investigated, but we have not ruled this out as a result of not using legitimated paddy seeds,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

He said the disease could be detected when the rice grains began to grow within 95 to 110 days after planting.

“Due to the disease, many millers have refused to buy paddy from the affected areas, while the others have been buying it at a discounted price of up to 70%,” he said, advising farmers to buy legitimate seeds for the upcoming season.

Abdul Yunus also advised farmers in the eight villages – namely Parit Gumpong, Parit Tanjung Piandang, Parit Haji Manan, Parit Mat Ali, Parit Sungai Baru, Parit Haji Samsuri and Parit Haji Yusof – to cut and burn the infected paddy straw to prevent a similar blight in the coming planting season.

– Bernama