After Floods, Mon State Govt to Provide Seed Assistance to Farmers

More than 65,000 acres of paddy fields have flooded in Mon State.


Monday, August 13, 2018

The Mon State government will give farmers whose rice paddies have been damaged by recent floods one basket—or 128 cans—of paddy seed per acre, according to government representatives.

After heavy rains throughout July, more than 65,000 acres of paddy fields flooded in Mon State’s Bilin, Kyaikhto, Kyaikmayaw, Pawng and Thaton townships, compared to 4,000 acres last year. The Mon State agricultural department said that 1,700 acres were completely destroyed.

The state’s agriculture and transportation minister U Tun Htay told NMG that the state government had already approved the budget put forward and ordered them to buy paddy seeds. The department will buy 100 million kyats (US$67,600) worth of paddy seeds, which are expected to grow within 90 days.

“Our state government will provide more if farmers need more paddy seeds,” he said, adding that they will need to buy at least 11,500 baskets of seeds.

U Tun Htay said that farmers still have nearly 20,000 baskets of viable paddy seed. Moreover, 2,000 baskets have been donated by an agricultural business association. Combined with the seed to be donated by the government, the minister said it should be enough to re-plant the paddy crop that was damaged.

“Flooding was really bad this year. Farmers tried to grow the paddy plants on time. We are praying for it not to flood again,” farmer U Kyi Soe from Bilin Township told NMG.

Neighboring Karen State was also heavily affected—in Hpa-an Township alone, almost 42,500 of more than 53,000 acres were flooded.

The Karen State government and the Karen State agricultural department will also reportedly work together to help the state’s farmers reclaim their losses.

On August 9, Htee Htar Kalone Patriotic Karen Youth Association gave 99 baskets of paddy seeds to Karen farmers in Hpa-an Township whose paddy fields had been damaged.

Around 700,000 acres of paddy fields flooded throughout Mon and Karen states and in Tanintharyi region in July this year.