With rice fields across the nation being flooded due to heavy monsoon rains in recent months, the Myanmar Rice Federation is preparing to release rice reserves as a countermeasure if the situation causes the price of rice to increase.
Myanmar has currently enough rice reserves to control the potential price hikes, U Ye Min Aung, general secretary of the Federation assured.
“We will release the reserves based on the situation. Releasing them unnecessarily will hurt farmers in the harvest season. Thus, we are monitoring the entry of rice (bags) into Yangon from the usual 50,000 to 60,000 per day,” he told Myanmar Business Today.
Myanmar Rice Federation is also monitoring the floods and collecting data in order to provide seed, fertiliser and other supplies as needed to farmers.
Incessant heavy rain across a large swath of Myanmar in recent months has triggered floods in Bago, Yangon region and the states of Rakhine and Mon.
“We haven’t seen the price of rice increase too much. The price per bag increased from K28,000 to K30,000 last month. Currently, the price is normal,” a retail rice seller in Yangon region said.
Around 1,000 acres of rice fields in Hlegu Township in Yangon region have been flooded for a month, forcing seed prices and production costs to double, according to a local farmer.
“I have notified the authorities to help the farmers whose farms are flooded by compensating them for production costs and other support. Because of the flooding, we are now experiencing health problems like diarrhoea and a shortage of clean drinking water,” U Phyo Min Thein, Hlegu Township’s representative at the lower house said.
This week will continue to see heavy rain in many parts of the nation, the meteorological department has warned, while the Myanmar Port Authority has warned that between August 9-16, Yangon may witness unusually high tides.