Farm­ers fret over miss­ing ba­nana crop

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - mu­rali@thes­tar.com.my By R. S.N. MU­RALI

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.

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