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Burmese rice production to fall due to untimely rain

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Heavy rain has damaged rice production in four Burmese states and regions including major rice production centers. Rice production this year could fall by 1.7 million tons, says Myanmar Rice Producers’ Association chairman Sein Win Hlaing.

Burmese rice production for export is expected to drop because of heavy monsoon rain, but domestic consumption will remain about normal, say experts. Photo: MizzimaDue to flooding this monsoon season, many rice fields in Irrawaddy, Bago, Mon and Rakhine states and regions were damaged, which could cause a 10 per cent drop from normal production of 17 million tons in these areas, he estimated.

“Damage to rice crops is normal and routine every year, but this year the climate change is so severe and many acres of rice fields were flooded and damaged so rice production this year will fall,” Sein Win Hlaing told Mizzima.

Record high rainfall since mid-July has caused severe damage to rice production in the country. He said that while the export of rice would fall this year, there would be sufficient supplies for domestic consumption.

“We will emphasize sufficiency of domestic consumption and only after that will we consider rice exports,” Sein Win Hlaing said.

Annual domestic consumption in Burma is about 15 million tons; the export figure for 2010 was 800,000 tons. The export volume of rice in 2011 from April to September was 350,000 tons.

Farmers will be urged to grow more crops of rice and also authorities will provide practical agricultural education programs and supplies of farm implements and machinery to aid farmers, he said.

“Previously, the farmers dried the paddy on roads and on the ground,” he said. “Now we will provide them with drying machinery and other post-harvest technology as our priority. We will provide them machinery for harvesting and post-harvest processes.”

Rice acreage in Burma is 20.43 million acres of which monsoon paddy acreage is around 17.27 million acres; summer paddy acreage is 3.16 million acres, according to the Myanmar Rice Producers’ Association.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 October 2011 13:05 )  

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