Farmers in Muda agricultural development authority (Mada) areas have been urged to minimise paddy straw burning to prevent the state’s Air Pollutant Index (API) readings from going up.
Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, said to date, about 44 percent of rice fields in the Mada area had been harvested and straw burning was usually carried out before the paddy replanting process.
He said straw (paddy field residue comprising dry stalks) burning is often carried out after the harvesting process.
"However, the current API reading is seen to be 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 opening of the MADA Integrity Week in Alor Setar today.
Meanwhile, Mukhriz, who is also 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.
"I hope that the newly elected Mada's leadership would carry out their tasks with integrity to enable the agricultural sector to be driven and developed," he said.