Heavy non- seasonal showers, which lasted for four to five days in the lower delta region of Irrawaddy, has destroyed paddy fields and left farmers pondering the fate of their livelihoods.
A local farmer, Thein Aung told DVB that the rains inundated paddy fields in the area.
The flooding comes just as harvest season is set to begin in Burma. On Monday, DVB reported that the Myanmar Farmers Association (MFA) pledged to fix a set price for the new harvest, due in early December, at 350,000 kyat (US$350) per 100 baskets of paddy.
“As the heavy rains took place during the harvest season, lots of paddy was destroyed,” said Thein Aung.
He further pointed out that 2014 has been a rather unlucky year for rice farmers. “We suffered losses due to rat infestation,” he said. “We tried to regrow the crops but heavy rains submerged the paddy fields and we lost the produce. Now, we almost reached harvest time and the grains are underwater again and destroyed.”
Usually during November, the grains are harvested. However due to this unforeseen occurrence the farmers now have to sundry the grains in an effort to recover as much as they can. Industry observers say this process is bound to cost farmers a significant amount of money and manpower.
In a series of unfortunate events that have affected the agro industry in Burma, earlier this month rice prices and export experience a record price drop.
China, one of the major exporters of Burmese rice, has halted its rice export until legal trade agreements with Burma materialise. These setbacks in the agriculture sector are serious concerns for farmers like Thein Aung, whose livelihoods are at stake.
Heavy rainfall and flooding was also reported in Rangoon, leaving the streets waterlogged and daily life at a standstill. The weather department has announced that an atmospheric pressure area around the Bay of Bengal might result in further storms in Burma within two days.