Paddy farmers say no to drones in paddy cultivation

EMBUN MAJID


ALOR STAR: The Muda Agriculture Development Authority (Mada) Paddy Farmers Action Body is hoping that the authorities will reconsider deploying drones for aerial spraying of pesticides in paddy fields under Mada.

Its chairman Che Ani Mat Zain said although Mada had said that the usage of drones will not have adverse effects, the farmers feel that it could negatively impact the paddy farming industries in the long run.

He added that the use of drones will force farmers to fork out additional money for the purchase of these drones.

“They said the drone will use minimal amount of pesticide but can it really destroy the pest?

“The drone is a machine that lacks the human touch thus I am not sure if it can bring much benefit to the paddy industry,” he told reporters at a press conference here today.

Che Ani said based on the drone test conducted by Mada, the target area on which the pesticide was sprayed was confined but even so, the pesticide can still be carried by wind to other places, negatively impacting the environment.

One the same note, Che Ani said the action body together with 14 other non-governmental organisations plan to hold a peaceful gathering on May 1 to raise awareness on several issues affecting the nation’s paddy industries.

This includes paddy prices and problems faced by the Malay Rice Millers’ Association.