Kg Telaga Papan watermelon farmers suffer losses of over RM900,000 due to recent flood

16/02/2022 05:35 PM

SETIU, Feb 16  -- Nearly 40 farmers at Kampung Telaga Papan Land Settlement Scheme here, had to bear a total loss of RM910,000 when their watermelon crops on 91 hectares (ha) of land were destroyed by floods on Saturday (Feb 12).

One of the farmers, Abdullah Abdul Ghani, 53, said he was devastated when heavy rain on Friday night (Feb 11) submerged 9,000 watermelon plants that were about to bear fruit thus wiping out his investment of RM30,000.

"I started planting the watermelon crops on four hectares of land early last month and was expecting a harvest after a month and usually from the yield of 100 tonnes, I can earn around RM100,000. 

“With this income I had planned to reinvest and pay the salaries of my 16 employees, as well as for my family expenses and preparations to celebrate Ramadan and Hari Raya,” he said when met by reporters at Kampung Telaga Papan here today.

Abdullah said it is the first time such an incident has happened in his plantation since he began planting watermelon crops 10 years ago.

Farmer Siti Maryam Awang, 47, whose 3,000 watermelon crops on her 1.2 ha of land were also destroyed by the flood said she could have earned RM40,000 from the yield.

"I am the sole breadwinner in the family as my husband suffered a stroke three years ago,” said Siti Maryam, who is a first-timer in watermelon cultivation.

The mother of five had invested RM9,000, of which RM8,000 had been borrowed from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia while the rest was her savings.

Another farmer Shahril Hafizi Shafie, 33, said he can only replant the watermelon crops in March after clearing-up work on his 2.8 ha land is done.

“We usually plant watermelon crops twice a year. For the past 10 years, we plant only in January as the hot weather is conducive and we hope to harvest the fruits before the fasting month,” said Shahril, who suffered RM20,000 in losses.

Meanwhile, Kampung Telaga Papan Village Development and Security Committee (JPKK) chairman Bistaman Ariffin said besides the continuous heavy rain, the poor drainage system had also contributed to the floods.

He said the problem has been reported to the authorities, including the Setiu district officer and the Irrigation and Drainage Department (JPS) so that further action can be taken immediately adding that those affected should report to the relevant authorities to enable them to receive any form of assistance from the federal or state governments.




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