Wednesday, April 21, 2010

7,700ha of plantations ruined by drought

KOTA KINABALU: As much as 7,700 hectares of plantations have been ruined as a result of the drought early this year, said Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Agriculture & Food Industries, Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin yesterday.

He estimated that the damages caused 2,371 farmers to lose RM5.5 million. He said this during the question and answer session in response to a question from Lumadan assemblyman, Kamarlin Haji Ombi. The plantations affected were located within the Nabawan/Pensiangan, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Tenom, Semporna, Beaufort and Pitas districts and were mostly fruit plantations (5,000 hectares), hill rice (2,200 hectares) and rice (500 hectares).

He added that the ministry would aid the farmers by providing planting materials to farmers that have lost their crops due to the drought caused by the El-Nino phenomenon since June 2009. The aid will be given to farmers that have been approved by the ministry when they are rebuilding their land.

Meanwhile, Hussin said that RM50,000 has been appropriated to the agriculture office in Kunak for the restoration of the workers’ quarters there. However, the Agriculture Department would not be adding any vehicles to the Kunak district office until sufficient vehicles have been obtained by the department.
He said this in response to Kunak assemblyman, Datuk Nilwan Kabang’s question.

Source New Sabah Times April 20, 2010

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