Farmers fret over missing banana crop
ALOR GAJAH: Farmers in Air Paabas here have been going bananas over their missing crop since the beginning of this year.
Fully ripened pisang tanduk
(rhino horn banana), pisang sipah
(saba banana) and pisang nangka
(jackfruit banana) have been stolen from smallholders, causing them to lose hundreds of ringgit every month, the farmers said.
Johari Kassim, 70, said he incurred losses of almost RM360 in August when thieves stole his crop.
Johari added that bananas were targeted these days because of the high prices in the market.
A bunch of bananas can fetch as much as RM40 depending on the size, he added.
“Despite being vigilant, our bananas were stolen.
“It looks like after this we even need to resort to having night patrols,” he said.
Johari suspected that the crop was being sold to night-market traders.
Another farmer, Yazid Som, 51, said some farmers had their bananas stolen as many as six to seven times this year.
He added that many of them had reported the thefts to the authorities.
“We believe there was more than one person trespassing into our farms and stealing the bananas,” he said.
Yazid also said that while monkeys also feast on their bananas, it was theft by humans that caused the trees to be completely stripped of the fruits.
Police at the Alor Gajah police headquarters confirmed that a 58-year-old farmer lodged a report on Sept 11 after his crop went missing on several occasions.