Bago, Ayeyarwady, Magwe and Yangon regions have been the areas most affected by flooding during the rainy season. Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times
SOME 90,000 acres of riceland have been destroyed due to flooding as of August 18, a huge decline compared to 300,000 acres of paddy washed out in 2015, the government said.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation said that of the estimated 15 million acres of rainy-season rice crop for this fiscal year, some 10.5 million acres had been cultivated before the rainy season peaked in late July, submerging 400,000 acres of rice.
“We cannot say that all of the submerged paddy has been destroyed. Only around 90,000 acres have been destroyed,” U Myo Tint Htun, deputy secretary at the ministry’s office, said, but he added that the figure can increase because the rainy season has not yet ended.
Bago, Ayeyarwady, Magwe and Yangon regions have been the most affected by the floods, with more than 400,000 acres of farmland under water up to August 18, but water levels have almost receded in those areas, said U Myo Tint Htun. 
U Myo Tint Htun said the irrigation department has prepared for this year’s flooding season more intensively, building canals that drain the paddies fast, and this was a factor in the decline of damage to the crop. 
U Thein Aung, president of the Freedom of Farmer League, said Ayeyarwady has not been affected much in the cultivation of rainy-season paddy this fiscal year because there was not much heavy rain at the time of the planting season in early June. 
“Some areas of the cultivation are under water, but loss is not much worth saying compared to the last three years,” he said.
U Nay Lin Zin, joint secretary general of Myanmar Rice Federation, said Myanmar can meet the export goal as the floods did not significantly affect the cultivation of crops. 
“In the last fiscal year we could only export 1.8 million tonnes. I think 200,000 tonnes was lost because of the floods,” he said.
The government export target is 4 million tonnes of rice by 2020, double the 2 million tonnes export target for fiscal 2017-2018. 
The ministry has access to more than 50,000 buckets of seed which can be immediately distributed around the country to those in need to ensure this year’s target would be met