Rice farmers in Mon State won’t get back to normal because of military coup

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Mawlamyine, November (16)

Farmers in Mon State are in a desperate situation due to the decrease in rice yield in this year’s rainy season and the extremely high general expenses after the military coup, the farmers told Than Lwin Times.

After the military coup, rice farmers faced a nearly three-fold increase in the price of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the price of fuel.

Before the seizure of power, the price of fertilizer was only around 20,000 to 30,000 kyats per bag, but now the price has jumped to more than 100,000 kyats per bag.

In addition, during the rice planting season, daily wages reach more than K10,000 in parallel with Myanmar’s inflation and the increase in general commodity prices.

A rice farmer said, “The rice production has significantly declined because we were unable to apply fertilizer this year. Only 20–25 baskets of rice are produced per acre. We use seed broadcasting method and make less profit.”

Due to the general cost of rice production and labor shortage, farmers have to rent agricultural equipment for 95,000 kyats per acre. Therefore, the farmers say that if the price is compared to the price obtained during the harvest time, it is not cost-effective.

Now, 100 baskets of Emahta rice cost more than 1,000,000 kyats, while Paw Hsan rice costs around 1,300,000 kyats, but it is not cost-effective compared to the three-fold increase in agricultural production costs.

As a result, based on current general commodity prices, agricultural input prices, labor costs, and machinery rental costs, the price of 100 baskets of rice ranging from 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 kyats can be beneficial to farmers.

Rice farmers suffered losses due to low rice yields due to natural disasters and insect pests during the monsoon rice growing season last year, as well as higher input costs as a result of the military coup.

Mon State has nearly 700,000 acres of rainfed rice and produces more than 400,000 rice baskets every year, exporting them to some regions and states.

News-Than Lwin Times

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