By Noor Adzman Baharuddin
JITRA: A total of 5,821 padi farmers in Kedah and Perlis received an early Raya cheer from the National Security Council yesterday.
The duit raya, totalling RM6.3 million, was to help the farmers recover from spoilt crop due to heavy floods in some parts of the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) in October last year.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum said of the total amount of aid, RM6.27 million was for padi while the remaining was for vegetables that perished during the floods -- the worst in recent years -- in Kedah.
He said some 9,715ha of padi fields under Mada were affected. Of the total affected area, 1,085ha was in Perlis.
Johari said the government was always concerned with the problems faced by the people.
"The financial aid is to help alleviate the farmers's burden.
"Efforts are already underway to ensure our farmers enjoy better padi and vegetable yield this season," he said after giving away the aid to 27 area farmers' organisations here yesterday.
Present was Mada chairman Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and its general manager Datuk Abdul Rahim Saleh.
On steps to check against floods in Mada areas, Mohd Johari said the matter could be resolved once the proposed massive flood mitigation programme is carried out under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
He said the programme would affect rerouting waterways, including canals and rivers, in the Kubang Pasu, Padang Terap, Yan and Pendang districts. - NST