Floods, drought affect 150,000 acres of sesame, groundnut crops in Magway

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The drought troubles farmers and kills sesame plants. Photo: Zayatu (Magway)

This year, natural disasters, such as floods and the ongoing drought, have affected more than 150,000 acres of crops, including sesame and groundnut, and destroyed around 10,000 acres of farmland, according to the Magway Region Agriculture Department. Magway Region, which mainly grows oil crops, has over 1.3 million acres of land under peas and pulses cultivation.
According to statistics, the drought has affected more than 270,000 acres of groundnuts and over 1.3 million acres of sesame grown in the early monsoon season. Besides, the recent swelling of rivers has added to farm stress, submerging crops grown on land along the rivers.
“We have made field trips to the areas and inspected the situation. Up till 31 July, around 150,000 acres of crops have been affected by drought and floods. Of them, about 9,797 acres of crops have been destroyed by the disasters,” said U Khin Maung Win, the Head of the Magway Region Agriculture Department.
The about one-month-long drought has spelt ruin for sesame farmers, and groundnut farmers say they will face the same fate, if there is no rainfall soon.
“The drought has caused shortage of feedstuff for draught cattle and drinking water. The situation at sesame farms is hopeless. But, we can expect groundnuts only when it rains these days. If there is no rain, the plants will turn into feedstuff for our draught cattle,” said U Myo Nyunt, a farmer from Htonpauk Village. “About 600 farmers from 17 villages in Magway Township and 13 villages in Minbu Township are growing sesame on a total of 1,500 acres of land using Good Agricultural Practices. Of them, 80 per cent of each acre of the crop has been affected by the drought,” said U Naing Win Latt, Project In-charge of PC (Progetto Continenti) Myanmar. About 70 tons of sesame grown using the GAP system was exported to Japan and other countries in 2017, and about 88 tons in 2018. —Zayatu (Magway) (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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