More than 2,000 acres of rice paddies have been destroyed by storms and heavy rains which submerged farmlands in Magwe division’s Pwintbyu township during the last week of October.
Farmers in the village tracts of Legai, Hpalantaw, Kanswe and Kyauksitpon told DVB said they will be unable to make an income this season as the rice was almost ready to harvest when the storms hit. They say they face further financial headaches because many are expected to repay agricultural loans.
“We will have a tough time repaying our bank loans when they are due as we won’t be making any profit from our farms this year – we don’t know how we will deal with it,” said a local farmer.
Another said that the moisture left behind in the soil by the floodwaters will also hinder growth of any winter crop, the most common of which in Magwe is chick peas.
“For now, we cannot plant seeds because of the amount of moisture in the soil,” said a local farmer. “We will have to wait and see if it dries out by the end of the month.”
The affected farmlands were recently inspected by Magwe division’s Chief Minster Phone Maw Shwe, however he made no comments with regard to the farmers’ concerns.
Total foreign investment in Burma reached a record US$1.6 billion for the first six months of this fiscal year, more than the $1.4 billion that was invested during the entire 12 months of 2012-13. However, a meager 0.43 percent of that figure was spent on the agricultural sector.