A price for paddy reached lower than the set price of K520,000 per 100 baskets in some areas in November and December when the farmers harvest monsoon paddy.
Farmers have now pinned their hopes on summer crops, especially summer paddy, grown using irrigation water. Farmers are confident that cultivation using irrigation water, which is considered a nutrient for paddy plants, will ensure a high yield.
Our farmers will harvest their summer paddy soon. The price of the most common variety of paddy usually drops during harvest.
Hence, the agricultural management group and paddy purchase groups formed by the leading committee need to prepare for initiating the purchase plans in remote places, where it is hard to trade paddy at the basic price. The Myanmar Rice Federation and warehouse businesses are also urged to cooperate in the plans.
The merchants must purchase the paddy at the set price when the cost is lower than the actual market price.
The price is Ks 520,000 per 100 baskets (one basket is equivalent to 46 pounds) of paddy. Rice merchants, rice mills, agents and private companies, and members of MRF will purchase the paddy at the set rate if it is in line with the prescribed criteria, namely having 14 per cent moisture content and a fixed per cent of impurities, such as sand, weed and small stones.
The merchants must purchase the paddy at the set price when the cost is lower than the actual market price. If the market price is above the basic price, they are obliged to purchase the paddy at the prevailing price.
Growers are facing financial hardships due to low price offered at harvest time, coupled with high input costs and shortage of farm workers.
To promote the livelihood of farmers who make up over 70 per cent of the total population of Myanmar, we need to make legislations which can protect them.
This is because crops that grew well in the past may no longer continue to do so due to climate change, and crops are getting damaged by droughts or floods every year.
To give priority to the interests of farmers working on a manageable scale, we need to ensure that a price set annually is not lower than a current market price.