Rodents Ravage Farms In Kachin State

By Network Media Group
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Farmers fear they’ll soon be starving after rodents have devoured their rice in over 100 villages in N’jang Yang and Sumprabum townships.

“They’ve destroyed our rice crops. They haven’t only eaten all of my rice, they also consumed all the other vegetables on our farm,” a man from Hkaram Zum in Sumprabum Township has told NMG.

Planting season in northern Kachin State starts from June to July and farmers harvest at the end of October. In many villages, there are no more seeds left to plant next year because pests have eaten them all.

“Rodents have already eaten two-third of my paddy farm and I think there are only a few plants left,” another farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told NMG.

Almost all the people in Sumprabum and N’jang Yang townships are farmers, so the current crisis is affecting thousands of people who’re already suffering from political instability as a result of the military coup.

A third anonymous source from N’jang Yang said that rodents eat more of their produce day by day. “We depend on the rice and vegetables grown on our farm and we don’t have extra money to buy food. Even if we had money, we couldn’t buy anything in our area because our village is far from a town and the road is not good.”

Last year, some of the villages also faced this kind of disaster after rodent populations rose in the area. From 1972-82, residents of Sumprabum, N’jang Yang, Machanbaw and Nogmung townships were affected by widespread food insecurity after the same thing happened.

Some of the villages hard hit this year are N’jit Yang, Ti Yang Zup, Suit Hkar, Kawar Pan, Hkagran Yang, Mai Tawng, Hkaran Zup, Hsu Yang, Mai Htawng, N’dong Yang, N’hpyin Ga, Hpoung Gan, Lawah Yang, Bum Rom, Lon Kan Kar and N’bawng Tu on the bank of the Mali Kha River near the Myitkyina – Sumprabum highway.