Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nargis Cyclone Hits Myanmar Aquaculture Industry

MYANMAR - The recent cyclone in Myanmar (Burma) is expected to severely hit the country's agriculture and aquaculture industries.

The five states that have been affected own 80 per cent of the country's fish aquaculture ponds and 26 per cent of the shrimp aquaculture ponds. Fish and shrimps might have escaped from the ponds if flooded by water.

The five states also produce 65 per cent of the country's rice, and have about 50 per cent of all irrigated areas. There is risk that stored rice seeds kept by farmers - usually under poor storage facilities - might be affected by the cyclone.

Some rice crops under irrigation might be affected if not yet harvested.

Rubber plantations in five affected states cover 20 per cent of national total. However, most rubber trees are relatively young and might also be affected by the cyclone.

The five affected states are famous for livestock production - having roughly 50 per cent of national poultry production and 40 per cent of pig production. FAO also expects problems for small scale livestock holders to treat injured/sick animals or feed surviving animals.

FAO/WFP is to carry out joint assessments of food needs, damage and needs assessment in the agricultural, livestock and fisheries sectors as well as looking at livelihoods and natural resource issues in the most affected areas.

UN clusters are leading the action, and the UN - including FAO - is examining the need for a flash appeal, Relief Web said.

Together with the government, UN partners and donors, FAO is ready to undertake on the spot detailed damage assessment – and formulate measures to protect farmers from further losses and provided immediate support to recover rural livelihoods.

Ref : TheFishSite News Desk


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