As per sources, it has been reported that the Rice cultivation in Penang state which is due to begin in the middle of this month, has been now postponed to mid-April because of the hot weather and lack of water in the state. While, explaining at a press conference after chairing a meeting with the Northern Seberang Prai Drainage and Irrigation Department, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi), Penang Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and Rural Development and Health excon, Dr Afif Bahardin revealed that currently water levels are still very low for the padi fields , although it was supplied by the Beris Dam in Sik, Kedah. Therefore, due to these reasons the rice cultivation had to be postponed to next month accordingly.
Further, it was also narrated that there is a need to ensure that there is enough water before farmers can start planting the padi and thus, it has been planned to start the rice cultivation in the next month. It is hopefully that water supply would be sufficient as it has been estimated that there would be a rain in the end of April. While, regarding the effect of these problems on the rice output in this year, it was informed by Mr Afif that he could not estimate the output now but in last year the farmers had faced a similar problem and yet the rice output was recorded at 150,000 metric tonnes compared with 130,000 in 2013. It was also informed that in Penang state that there are more than 6,000 padi farmers, with some 5,100 of them are cultivating 8,500 hectares (21,004 acres) in northern Seberang Prai District itself.