The paddies in Maungtaw are being harvested in large part because peace has been restored to Maungtaw area, farmers said.
“As the area has gained stability, farmers are reaping their paddies on time. Some finished harvesting and are starting to thresh and winnow. If the harvest was not finished in time, there will be many shortages. As for me, I have grown just for the consumption of my family, so it is enough for this year”, said U Phyu Tha Tun of the village of Bodigone in Maungtaw district/south.
The Rakhine State Office, the Rakhine State Cabinet and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Irrigation sent 40 harvesting machines to farmers in the region to help harvest the paddies in time, by the last week of October, according to the department of agriculture.
“Some farmers managed to farm a lot of acreage and reaped their produce by the use of harvesting machines, whereas small-scale farmers did this manually, including me”, said U Phyu Tha Tun.
Harvesting machines sent to support the Maungtaw region have the capacity of harvesting 3 to 5 acres per day, at a cost of about Ks10,000 per acre. The harvesting machines are also more efficient and reduce waste, the agricultural department said.
“Harvesting machines solved the problem of labour and they helps reduce the cost. It is more efficient than manual work”, said U Toe Wai, the head of the Rakhine State Office of Agriculture.
According to local farmers, Maungtaw area has had good weather and has yielded a large volume of produce. Out of 80,000 acres of paddy-growing farms in Maungtaw, only about 10,000 acres belong to local farmers.—Min Thit