The cultivation of Shwebo Pawsan, a superior variety of local rice, is likely to expand in the coming years on account of high consumption and demand, said U Min Aung, chairman of Shwebo Pawsan Producers and Exporters Association.
“Normally, Shwebo Pawsan is out of stock by the end of April. However, it was nearly out of stock in September itself, resulting in the soaring price in the market. This means the consumption of Pawsan is high. Sometimes, we get a purchase order even from the Pawsan-producing Ayeyawady Region,” he added.
Shwebo Pawsan is cultivated in Shwebo, Wetlet, YeU, Singu, Tabayin, Taze and Kanbalu townships. Of the 800,000 acres of monsoon paddy cultivation, more than 310,000 acres are devoted to Shwebo Pawsan cultivation. An acre produces 65 to 80 baskets on an average.
Shwebo Pawsan matures during the middle term, taking some 145 days. Farmers start cultivating this variety in July and harvest the rice in December.
Some 50 per cent of the Shwebo Pawsan is sent to the Yangon market and also distributed to markets in southern and northern Shan State, and the Taninthayi, Magway, Mandalay, Bago and Ayeyawady regions.
“Some growers cultivate the Ayeyamin variety during Shwebo Pawsan’s growing season. However, the demand for this variety is low this year. Therefore, farmers are likely to turn to Shwebo Pawsan in the coming paddy season,” said U Soe Tint, a Shwebo Pawsan grower. The high consumption and demand have led to a decrease in the stock. While 100 paddy baskets previously fetched some Ks1.2 million, the price has now soared to Ks1.6 million. Similarly, the price for a bag of Pawsan has also increased. This year, the opening price for Pawsan was some Ks1.2 million per 100 baskets in January. The price gradually rose, starting from February. The prevailing price ranges from Ks1.4 to 1.5 million per 100 baskets.
The soaring price last year was attributed to the current high price. However, the price will remain steady, and there will be no significant rise, stated U Min Aung.
Farmers are expecting a high yield of Shwebo Pawsan this year, along with a high price.
By May Thet Hnin