Typhoon Lekima causes RM60.2 million in losses in agrofood industry - Sim

Typhoon Lekima causes RM60.2 million in losses in agrofood industry - Sim

Aug 18, 2019

Beijing [China] August 18: The country's agrofood industry has recorded RM60.2 million in losses due to typhoon Lekima, which caused havoc in Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang and Perak on Aug 9.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the fish farming sector recorded the most losses at RM29 million due to damage to fish cages and dead fish.
"The devastating effect on the agrofood industry caused by the typhoon that hit the states on Aug 9 involved rice cultivation, fish farming, poultry and cash crops.
"However, the worst affected were the fish farms in Penang, involving 152 entrepreneurs with 800 tonnes of dead fish as well as 80 to 100 per cent damages on hundreds of cages valued at RM29 million," he said after visiting the fish farms in Sungai Udang, here, today.
Sungai Udang was among the worst affected areas, with 141 fish farm operators suffering serious damage to infrastructure and equipment and more than 700 tonnes of fish either dead or escaped from cages.
Fish farms in Teluk Bahang and Pantai Jerejak were also affected.
Sim said his ministry would take immediate steps to help affected fishermen rebuild their cages to meet the demand for fishery resources.
He said the ministry would also meet Agro Bank representatives to discuss financial assistance for fish farm operators.
"I will ask the other banks to help too as we don't want the affected entrepreneurs to lose hope such as in the flash flood incident in 2017, where the affected businessmen refused to continue their fish farming because they were unsuccessful at applying for loans," he said.
He said a detailed report on the damages suffered by farmers, livestock breeders and fishermen was being prepared to ensure that assistance was provided to them.
Sim recommended that sea fish breeders use a modern cage system called HDPE circular floating cage as it was stronger and not easily damaged.
"For a start, the ministry will allocate two sets of HDPE cages measuring 12sq m each worth RM100,000 to the Sungai Udang Fishermen Association so that it can be used as a pilot project and see how this new system operates," he said.
Source: NST