Rice yield down in Bogalay after cyclone

Dec 16, 2008 (DVB), The rice yield in areas of Bogalay township in Burma's delta region has dropped this year in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, which struck parts of the country in May this year.

An acre of paddy fields in the affected areas usually yields 40-50 tin of rice, but farmers said the yield was down to 10 tin per acre this year.

One farmer said the decrease was caused by the lack of good rice plants and fertiliser and technical difficulties.

"The price of rice is also dropping," the farmer said.

"The local authorities have taken the relief supplies and sold them on."

Another farmer said local farmers could not afford to plant any more crops.

"Before, an acre yielded about 50 tin, now we only get between 10 and 15," he said.

"The authorities sold off machinery and diesel, and we received nothing."

Rice mill owners are also losing revenue, and many are now operating at a loss.

A third farmer said he thought the government should provide good quality rice seedlings and modern agricultural equipment and should take action against corruption by local officials.

The farmers said they had no alternative source of income, and dismissed recent claims by Burmese prime minister general Thein Sein that there were plenty of opportunities for work in the agriculture sector.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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