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Pegu govt promises to help farmers with damaged rice fields

The regional government of Pegu Division pledged to assist local farmers whose paddy fields were damaged in recent flooding.

Maung Maung Than, divisional secretary, said that officials are now conducting an assessment on the level of damage that paddy fields have undergone this rainy season, classifying them in three categories – not damaged, damaged, and destroyed – in order to determine the level of assistance needed.

“For paddy fields inundated from four to seven days, these are categorised as ‘not damaged’ and for the second category, ‘damaged’, we plan to provide 5,000 kyat[US$5] for each acre,” Maung Maung Than said. “For the destroyed paddy fields, we are looking to provide seeds and 15,000 kyat assistance.”

Soe Tun, chairman of the Myanmar Farmers Association (MFA), said that providing only seeds for destroyed farmland won’t be enough to help farmers get back on their feet.

“They’ve also lost investments made in the farm such as paying for farm hands. It would be more helpful if the government could also provide them with fertiliser and more money from the country’s natural disaster funds,” Soe Tun said.

He added that the MFA will negotiate with the Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation Limited to distribute seeds, fertiliser and loans to farmers.

According to a report in the state-run Myanmar Ahlin newspaper, more than 135,000 acres of farmland were inundated in Pegu following heaving downpours in the first week of August, and about half of these farms are expected to be destroyed.

Maung Maung Than said that if the regional government does not have enough resources to help the farmers, they will ask for assistance from the union government.



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