KEMAMAN – Sixteen farmers in Kampung Darat Teladas near Air Putih suffered over RM50,000 in losses when 12 hectares of their banana farm were destroyed in a flood on Friday.
Farmer Mohd Sibili Mohd Kassim, 65, said all of them were devastated as more than 1,000 banana trees under the planned cluster farms which were due for harvesting soon were destroyed in the disaster.
“They comprised a variety of bananas, including berangan, nangka and emas, planted in the plantation as they are highly sought after.
“We are quite unlucky not to be able to harvest this time. A report has been made to the Agricultural Department and the officer in charge will make an estimated loss assessment soon,” he told reporters today.
The plantation, which has been operating in the last three years, was encroached by wild elephants early this year due to its proximity to the Air Putih Forest Reserve.
Another farmer, Adnan Said, 53, said he has run out of options to secure the financial resources needed to restart the banana farming project.
“I don’t have the means to restart the project after this disaster, perhaps with some government aid, we could start it back again.
“The electric fence itself cost us over RM3,000 when we first installed it. If we want to reinstall it again, god only knows how much is needed now,” he said, adding that it is the first time, the place was flooded since plantation began in 2017.
Zulkifli Sabdi, 44, meanwhile said they were forced to reinstall the electric fence surrounding the banana plantation which was destroyed in the flood to prevent future intrusions from wild elephants and pigs as well as cows and goats that wander around the area.
“If we do not install the electric fence, we run the risk of having our crops destroyed by animals… I hope our suffering will receive the attention of the authorities who will help ease our burden,” he said.