Minimise burning activities, Mukhriz tells padi farmers

Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir says straw burning is usually carried out before the replanting season. (Bernama pic)

ALOR SETAR: Farmers in Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) areas have been urged to minimise padi straw burning to prevent the state’s air pollutant index (API) readings from going up.

Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir said about 44% of padi fields in the Mada area had been harvested and straw burning was usually carried out before padi replanting.

“The API reading is increasing in Alor Setar, among other places, which is why we hope farmers will minimise the burning until the haze situation improves.

“I also hope that farmers can take precautionary measures such as using masks when carrying out farming activities,” he said at the official opening of the Mada Integrity Week here today.

Mukhriz, who is also the Mada chairman, said the week-long event was part of the integrity education process aimed at instilling a sense of responsibility among all parties to manage Mada resources properly.

“The government is committed to eradicating corruption but its effectiveness requires the cooperation and awareness of all parties,” he said.

He expressed the hope that the newly elected Mada Area Farmers’ Organisation (PPK) leadership would carry out their tasks and responsibilities with integrity to enable the agricultural sector to be driven and developed.