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Farmers face heavy rain and insect infestations

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Min Taw Lawi – Farmers in Mon State are facing problems with insects and mollusc-bit paddy seedling plants following the flooding of their fields during the second week of July, according to farmers.

According to a civil servant from the Moulmein District Land Record Department, the areas suffering from flooding are Ye, Kyaikmayaw, Chaung-zone, and Paung townships. The most-flooded area is Kyaikmayaw, while the townships hardest hit by insects are Paung and Chaung-zone.

“Our paddy plants are just stubble because of cut worms [caterpillars which make tubular leaf-cases on rice plants] in Kamar-bee and Ahlat villages in Paung. It is happening to about one hundred acres,” according to a farmer in Kamar-bee.

“Although Kyaikmayaw is always flooding, this time is longer than last year with water up to knee-level,” said a Tarana villager in Kyaikmayaw Township. Nearly one thousand paddy fields in Tarana, Kawthet, and Khayoun Pan villages in Kyaikmayaw have been flooded.

A farmer in Tarana said that the seedlings in the fields were dead after the floodwater reduced, and most farmers do not have other seedlings to substitute for the dead ones. Moreover, they do not have time or money to replant.

In villages near the sea such as Kaw-mupon and Seepalar in Chaung-zone Township, sea molluscs have inundated paddy fields, said a Kaw-mupon farmer.

“We have never seen these kinds of molluscs. The small ones are about the size of a thumb or big toe, but the big ones are the size of a small egg. Last year just crabs destroyed our fields. We spray with pesticides, but they don’t work,” said a farmer in Kaw-mupon.

Many townships in Mon State experience flooding every year due to strong river and stream currents near fields, as well as a lot of rain during the rainy season.

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