DENGKIL, Jan 2 — Although thankful for the various assistance and incentives provided by the government for those affected by the recent floods, farmers and livestock breeders in Dengkil hoped their needs for agricultural assistance would not be overlooked.

Gunasegar Rangasamy, 44, who operates a livestock farm in Kampung Sri Tanjung was not spared from the floods. He lost 197 chickens in the disaster.

“My 28 cows survived the floods, but they are now weak, having been in the flood water for three days, and thin as they have no place to sleep and are underfed as the animal feed had been washed away by the floods.

“My 40 goats escaped the floods, because there were on higher ground, but are now having ringworms on their body,” he told Bernama.

Gunasegar, who has been in the industry for 10 years, said he hoped the authorities could look into their problems and provide the necessary assistance.

“The Veterinary Department came and provide animal feed, but there are other forms of assistance we need, like machine to cut the grass, etc.,” he added.

As for Laman Ab Rahman, 60, he was not as lucky as Gunasegar because three of his cows drowned, causing him to lose thousands of ringgit.

“At 4am, the water had risen to neck level. I waded through the flood water to save my cows. Otherwise, all of them would drown, I lost only three and they were all about three and a half years old. I could have sold them for between RM3,500 and RM4,000 each.

“With the floods over, I now have to deal with the skin disease affecting my cows. I have to bear the cost of the medicines. Hopefully, there will be assistance also for farmers, apart from assistance provided for residents. 

“We also need animal feed and the necessary equipment, for our livestock,” he said, adding that it was difficult to find dry grass after the floods to feed his cattle.

Another farmer, Anuar Abu Bakar, 65 said the relevant authorities should give attention to helping smallholders and livestock farmers to recover as starting over again would be an uphill task since they lost almost everything in the floods.

His 0.81-hectare farm in Kampung Semarang, Dengkil, which he had planted with 4,800 banana plants, was destroyed in the floods.

“With the banana plants destroyed, I have also lost my source of income,” he added.

Chilli grower Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor, 40, who lost about 5,000 chilli plants that was planted through the fertigation process in the recent floods, expressed the hope for the relevant authorities in the agriculture and livestock sector to provide cash assistance to farmers to start their new crop.

“All my farming equipment and chili seedlings are destroyed. My chilli plants were almost ready for harvesting, and now all have been destroyed. I expect to harvest 4,000 kg of chilli from this crop,” said the former newspaper photographer. — Bernama