Wednesday, October 08, 2008

High cost of fertiliser threatens harvest in Myanmar

from IRIN News

DAYDAYE, 7 October 2008 (IRIN) - With many farmers in Myanmar's cyclone-affected areas unable to prepare their fields in time, many planted high yielding rice varieties (HYVs), which have a shorter growth period than traditional types.

HYVs generally take around three months to mature, and with this year's rice planting season over at end-July, farmers can expect to harvest in late October or early November.

Traditional rice takes longer than HYVs and is generally harvested in late November or December, depending on planting time.

However, according to specialists, only with the appropriate fertiliser use can farmers fully benefit from the potential of the high yielding varieties.

Traditional local rice varieties generally have a lower yield potential and are often grown without much fertiliser.

Fertiliser in the cyclone-affected rice farming areas of Myanmar costs around $21 per 50kg bag, but $15 in Yangon. Damaged roads have driven up transport costs.

In addition, local fertiliser dealers refuse to sell on credit, unconvinced they will be repaid.

Most paddy farmers apply fertiliser in two stages. Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) is normally applied in full as basal application during the final tillage operation at a rate of some 25kg per acre, while Urea and Muriate of Potash (MOP) applications are typically split. Fifty percent of Urea and MOP is usually made as basal application with the remainder applied as top dressing.

Link to full article. May expire in future.

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