Over 1.1milion acres of crop fields flooded
08 Aug 2018

Up to 1.1 million acres of crop fields have been affected by recent floods across Myanmar, of which around 300,000 acres have been damaged, U Myo Tint Tun, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI) told The Myanmar Times. According to data collected by the ministry between June 1 and August 3, more than 700,000 acres out of the 1.1million acres of flooded crop fields have been recovered after the floods receded. However, the remaining 300,000 acres were damaged, he said.

Sagaing and Magwe regions were most affected by the floods which took place in June. In Kayin State, more than 50,000 acres were flooded and about 7,000 acres were damaged. In Tanintharyi Region, there are about 8,000 acres of flooded crop fields of which about 900 acres were damaged. In Bago Region, more than 400,000 acres were flooded and more than 50,000 acres damaged, according to the ministry of the 300,000 acres of damaged fields, more than 200,000 acres consist of sesame fields while the remaining 100,000 acres are monsoon paddy fields, said U Myo Tint Tun. Sesame fields in Magwe Region, Mandalay Region and west Bago were most affected. "The sesame fields were damaged in June, which is when the sesame plants are most vulnerable.

Farmers whose crops were destroyed have replaced them with other crops like green gram and maize, although some opted to replant sesame. We have to wait and see if this is a success during harvest season in late August. It could still be a good harvest if the rain stops now," said U Sai Ba Nyan, vice chair of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association. So far, the rains appear to have stopped in areas where sesame is being harvested. "Most of sesame farmers may face big losses this year. But those replaced with beans could make some returns, U Sai Ba Nyan said. Meanwhile, MOALI has provided seeds for monsoon paddy to farmers whose crops were damaged. It is the third year the ministry has done so. Currently, nearly 80,000 acres of monsoon paddy across Myanmar have already been replanted, said U Myo Tint Tun.