6 July 18 - Due to heavy rainfall during the month of June, more than half a million acres of farming land was flooded and some 250,000 acres totally destroyed as at June 29, said U Myo Tint Tun, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI).
That underscores the need to implement a crop insurance system to insure farmers against losses as a result of damaged crops.
The crops most severely affected include sesame and paddy. Around 90,000 acres of monsoon sesame, 80,000 acres of summer sesame and more than 40,000 acres of monsoon paddies were destroyed. Meanwhile, other crops like summer paddy, corn, peanuts, sunflowers and various beans were badly damaged as well.
Among the worst affected areas are Sagaing and Magwe, which mainly grows oil crops and beans. The two regions will receive support from MOALI in the form of paddy seeds to replace the damaged crops. "We have stored seeds of monsoon paddy. We will give the seeds to the farmers and also help them with cultivation," said U Myo Tint Tun.
He said the floods were not expected in June. "It is too early in this year. The flood usually occurs in mid July and August. But this year, it occurred during the beginning of the monsoon."
Ko Aye Min Tun, a farmer from Lawe township, Nay Pyi Taw, said the weather has been getting more unpredictable of late. "In recent years, it has been raining heavily. If it doesn't rain, it is very hot. Conditions are more uncertain, which affects crop quality," he said.
As such, a national insurance scheme for farmers should be implemented urgently. Currently, insurance is only provided in certain regions.
Source: Myanmar Times