Fruit growers hit hard by dry spell

File photo of guava and rose apples at a market stall. Those fruits are affected by the dry spell.

IPOH - The hot and dry spell is wreaking havoc on farms in the state, with many fruit growers lamenting that the lack of rain is stunting the growth of their produce.

Pomelo grower Chan Chuen Fatt, 51, said it had not rained in his area in Ulu Piah, near Ampang here, for about three weeks.

He said he had expected the hot weather since Chinese New Year and had been prepared to overcome the lack of rainwater to tend to his orchard.

"I have a water-pumping machine to water the trees. It was working fine but it broke down last week. Now I have to source for water from nearby ponds for my trees but the weather has already stunted the growth of some of the fruits," he said.

Another farmer, Lau Poon, said he was worried about the fruits at his orchard in Bidor.

Lau, who grows guava and rose apples, said the fruits needed a lot of water for them to develop fully.

"We are just entering the fruiting phase and I am really worried that this batch will be affected," he said.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department website has forecast a week of cloudy weather and rainfall in the state. It noted that there would be isolated rainfall during the afternoon beginning today.

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