Gov­ern­ment, busi­nesses con­trib­ute paddy seeds to flooded farms

The Myanmar Times - - News - Thanhtoo@mm­times.com HTOO THANT

AS floods wreak havoc across the coun­try and dam­age thou­sands of acres of mon­soon paddy, gov­ern­ment agen­cies and busi­nesses are ar­rang­ing for af­fected farm­ers to re­ceive 480,000 bas­kets of paddy seed, Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock and Ir­ri­ga­tion deputy di­rec­tor U Aye Ko Ko said last week.

About 70,000 bas­kets were bought with Union gov­ern­ment funds and an­other 60,000 were bought with state and re­gional funds. The bulk – 350,000 bas­kets – was bought by farm­ers, en­trepreneurs and other busi­ness­peo­ple.

While flood­ing does not im­me­di­ately de­stroy paddy fields, long-term flood­ing will, said the min­istry’s deputy per­ma­nent sec­re­tary U Thet Naing Oo.

More than half a mil­lion acres of paddy fields were flooded as of Au­gust 15, with more than 200,000 acres of that be­ing in Aye­yarwady Re­gion. More than 20,000 acres of paddy fields have been de­stroyed by flood­ing, U Myo Tint Tun, who com­piles the paddy lists, told The Myan­mar Times.

“We will give the farm­ers in the flooded ar­eas the paddy bas­kets with­out charg­ing them,” U Aye Ko Ko said.

Other crops – such as maize, sesame and beans – can also be de­stroyed by flood­ing, but be­cause they are grown away from the flood zones, few have been af­fected by this year’s heavy rain.

In or­der to get the paddy planted in time for mon­soon sea­son, the min­istry will pro­vide farm ma­chin­ery. The mon­soon paddy sea­son runs from late Au­gust to Septem­ber, so there is still time to sal­vage the flooded farm­ers’ crops, U Thet Naing Oo said.

Flood­ing has driven up the prices of paddy bas­kets: 100 bas­kets cost about K1 mil­lion at the Man­dalay mar­ket and K850,000 at the Nay Pyi Taw mar­ket.

Bags of rice have risen from K28,000 to K30,000 as well, said Py­in­mana town­ship rice en­tre­pre­neur Ko Nay Soe.

– Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

Photo: Kaung Htet

Farm­ers plant mon­soon paddy.

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