PENDANG, June 24 — A former student of the Jitra Industrial Training Institute (ILP) near here, has made the most out of the restrictions during the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, by offering a pesticide spraying service to paddy farmers using drones, since April.
Mohd Saifullah Halim, 22 from Kampung Paya Nedam, here said, he opted to venture into the business as it proved to be a good income generator.
“It is the right decision on my part which I made after completing my studies. I started with one drone which I bought to be used on an 11-hectare paddy field but soon after I began to get requests (for the service) from my father’s friends and also the villagers.
“…and from there, demand started pouring in during the (MCO) period and (I) bought another drone to expand the service and to cater to the increasing needs of farmers around this area,” he told Bernama here, today.
Mohd Saifullah said he and his two assistants could spray pesticides on up to 10 hectares of paddy fields a day, charging from RM12 to RM20 for every 0.29 hectares of paddy field.
According to him, the sudden increase in demand for the service was because farmers were taking a more cautious approach by not leaving their house during the MCO period.
“They prefer spraying using drones because it is more spread out more evenly, which increases their yields compared to the normal practice of using pumps. For this (paddy) season I received requests all the way from Yan and Alor Setar,” he said, adding that he could make around RM5,000 per month.
Mohd Saifullah said that there were now requests from vegetable farmers for similar services, and he encouraged other youths to venture into this untapped market.