Than Htike Oo and Theingi Tun
Rangoon (Mizzima) – Nursery paddy fields in Kyaunggon Township, Irrawaddy [Ayeyarwaddy] Region, have been flooded, affecting about 2,200 farmers, according to local officials.
A Kyaunggon Township Agricultural Department official told Mizzima that the Darka River overflowed its bank on August 2.
“The flood didn’t subside for two weeks, and the paddy fields are likely to be spoiled,” he said.
If the nursery paddy fields are spoiled, the farmers will face a deficit estimated at 20 million kyat (US$ 22,896), he said.
The state-run newspaper, New Light of Myanmar, reported on Monday that Quarter No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 of Kyaunggon and 18 villages in the township had been flooded.
The flood affected about 12,000 people from 3,011 households, said local officials.
Similarly, Quarter No. 1 of Kangyidaung Township, Pathein District, has been flooded and 39 households were affected, state-run newspapers reported on August 11.
“The water level has increased by two inches per day. There is no sign that the flood subsides,” said Tun Aung, 55, a farmer in Nagyikone Village. “My 17 acres of paddy fields are inundated. Now, my house in the village has also been flooded, so we are living on an embankment.”
“This year, I think we will not get brown rice to keep aside for our own consumption. Last year, we got 300 baskets of brown rice from 17 acres,” Tun Aung said.
The cost to sow an acre of paddy field is about 150,000 kyat. The Agricultural Development Bank usually loans farmers 50,000 kyat per one acre. Some farmers have to borrow money from moneylenders at an interest rate of five percent or 10 per cent per month, according to farmers living in Nagyikone village.
“This year, we have not received loans from the Agricultural Development Bank,” Tun Aung said, adding that he hoped the flood would subside in time to allow farmers to re-sow the paddy fields.
There are 118,016 acres of arable paddy fields in Kyaunggon Township and 101,175 acres have been sowed this rainy season, according to figures compiled by the Kyaunggon Township Agricultural Department. The production rate of the township is 78 baskets [1 basket = 40.9 liters] of brown rice per acre.