BACHOK: The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) today announced an additional allocation of RM400,000 to build water pumps and tube wells to overcome water problems during the dry season.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu said the measure was taken to help padi farmers who are hit by water shortage.

“We are getting the water pumps ready so that the hot weather will not affect padi cultivation,“ he told reporters after checking on the water pumps in Kampung Kubang Telaga, here today.

“If the pumps are not sufficient, we will consider adding more pumps like these before a suitable irrigation system is implemented in the future.

Elaborating, Mohamad said the hot weather and drought have caused areas managed by the Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (KADA) to face water supply issues when the Kemubu pump house was unable to irrigate some padi-growing areas in Kota Bharu Selatan, Kota Bharu Utara, Pasir Puteh and Bachok.

“The hot weather has caused the Kelantan river to continue to dry up and the Kemubu pump is not able to irrigate the entire 16,113 hectares of padi crops in the affected area since nearly a month ago.

“Until now, KADA has provided three special pumps in the fields in Aur Duri (Kota Bharu Utara area), Kampung Keling (Kota Bharu Selatan area) and Sungai Kemasin (Bachok area) to help farmers irrigate their padi fields,“ he said.

He also said KADA has distributed nearly 500 portable pumps to all farmers in the KADA areas as they are worried that their padi crops would be destroyed due to drought.

“In this prolonged hot spell, KADA and farmers will cooperate to ensure padi that was planted in early January can be harvested in May or June.

“I wish to express my thanks to farmers for their willingness to build their own pipe system to avoid further loss of their padi crops,“ he added. - Bernama