August 13, 2014

13/08/2014: From largest exporter to just keeping up with local demand

Flooded paddy fields stretch along both sides of the highway leading to Myanmar's capital where thousands of farmworkers, mostly women, uproot sprouts and then gently tap them on their feet to remove mud from the roots. Others walk through the mist, balancing sprouts on bamboo poles.

They break at midday for lunch, sitting and sharing what little food they have with visitors. When monsoon rains start pelleting down once again, they cover themselves with colorful plastic sheets, some laughing, singing and dancing as the water seeps through, leaving them soaking wet.

Myanmar, which was the world's largest exporter of rice in the early 1960s, today can barely keep up with domestic demand. The government is trying to change that, encouraging farmers to use modern techniques that increase yields, like incubating seedlings in nurseries and then transplanting them.

For some very impressive photographs of rice farmers of Myanmar it is worth taking a look HERE.

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