Magway sesame growers face hardship due to drought, low price

A worker carrying the sack of sesame in a warehouse in Magway.  Photo: Zayyatu (Magway)
A worker carrying the sack of sesame in a warehouse in Magway. Photo: Zayyatu (Magway)

With the sesame damaged by lack of rain, the local sesame growers are less interested in growing of sesame as they know they cannot expect the good price, according to the sesame growers in Magway region. “We are not interested in the sesame market price. And we don’t have sesame to supply as well. The plants could not be grown again because time is over. We could not supply the sesame this year from our plantations,” said U Kyi Lin, a sesame grower from Hlepwegyi village.
“The sesame price dropped in March. After that, the price of sesame is rising again after the water festival in April. Some growers destroyed their sesame plantations and came to buy the bean seeds to grow. They don’t even ask the market price of sesame,” said Ko Yarzar Lin, an owner of the Nyein Man commodity in Magway town.
“The sesame cultivation is not successful because of drought. So, we come and buy the bean seeds to grow in Magway. We are hopeless with our sesame plantations. So, it doesn’t matter whether the price of sesame is up or down. We have no sesame at all to sell,” said U Thar Oo, a sesame farmer. “Magway traders estimated that about 600,000 baskets of sesame can be produced annually. Among the varieties of sesame, the local farmers mostly grow black sesame because it can fetch them a good price. This year, Mandalay market demanded the sesame which was of the same volume demanded by Magway commodity depots. They offered to buy the sesame from the local growers. The sesame plantations were damaged for lack of rain. Therefore, the sesame purchase depots may be faced with challenges,” U Kyaw Tun, the chairman of Magway Commodity.
“More than a hundred thousand of the sesame plantations can be adversely affected by erratic weather. Now, the Agricultural Land Management and Statistics is collecting the data of damaged sesame plantations,” said U Lin Myat, the regional head of Agriculture Department. —Zayyatu (Magway)(Translated by Hay Mar)

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