Ministry of Agriculture to conduct crop yield survey
A MAJOR crop yield survey is in the works, as the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation looks to get an accurate idea of the output from rice paddies nationwide.
Data will be collected from 308 townships around the country, Department of Agriculture director Daw Thuzar Myint told The Myanmar Times.
As the ministry eyes a boost to exports of agricultural and livestock products, she says it is crucial to collate meaningful crop yield data.
A statement released by the ministry said the aim is to quantify the paddy yield in the states and regions, as well as the excess, and data on the success of different species and strains. This, they say, will allow them to make a proper assessment on the potential of the sector and capacity for export growth.
Survey data collection will be conducted from this month to January next year – in time to assess the amount of monsoon paddy harvested.
“Currently, we are making preparations such as compiling the questions which will be asked of farmers, and offering training to data collectors,” said U Myo Tint Tun, deputy permanent secretary of the ministry.
The data collection will be a shared effort between the Department of Agriculture, Yezin Agricultural University and the Myanmar Rice Federation.
He added that the ministry will also use data collected in previous years, and from the most recent harvest. According to current figures used by the Department of Agriculture, the total amount of land on which paddy is cultivated nationwide was 17.36 million acres in the 2015-16 year. This includes 15.36 million acres of rainy season paddy and 2.4 million acres of summer season paddy.
The report collating and analysing survey data is expected to be submitted in late January next year.
Deputy permanent secretary U Myo Tint Tun said the current average expected yield per acre is 78 tins (each tin is equivalent to 9 gallons). However, some farmers say that doesn’t sound quite right.
“Yields of 78 tins per acre may be possible in some regions. But there are many regions which do not yield that amount,” said Ko Nay Soe, a rice mill owner from Nay Pyi Taw.
This was echoed by farmer U Ba Gyi of Kyun Oo village, Pyinmana Township.
“This production rate [is not realistic] even for rice planted in regions with plenty of rain.”
– Translation by Win Thaw Tar
Farmers plant rice in a paddy field.