The paddy-fields we are seeing now are those of Sar Oo Chaung village 15 farmers work these fields, a total of 102 acres The planting occurs two times a year; in summer and in the rainy season. Before planting each season, they get loans from the banks This year, about one and a half months ago, rice seedlings were destroyed by floods also there were some bad rice seeds – so new seedlings had to be bought. Due to climatic changes, and weevils and other insects, about thirty acres were destroyed but thanks to the farmers’ hard work, almost all the fields were replanted again You can see the result here. Nonetheless farmers still have many difficulties in providing for themselves. Id like to interview you a little; are you a farmer? Yes I am. My name is Ma Nwe New Yin and the fields around here are the ones I am planting. How many acres are there? 6 acres Is planting going well this year? This year, as the fields flooded last month, the seeds died also because of weevils, I lost about 3 acres. Farmers from neighbouring fields had to buy rice seedlings because their seeds weren’t good. For the destroyed fields, I’m buying rice seedlings and growing them now. I then needed to buy pesticides, so I’ve run out of funds Who do you get your loan from? We get our loans from the Agricultural Bank and we use the money to do the planting. When do you need to repay the loan? We get the loan when we start planting and we repay the loan after Saung Mone (full moon November) after harvest. What kind of needs do farmers have? Because we must repay the loan as soon as we harvest, we don’t get good prices. This is bad for farmers and difficult to manage money. I suggest that in the harvest season, the Farmer’s Group control and stabilize grain prices. Also, we would like to be taught planting techniques. We would also like it if planting machinery could be bought in installments. That would be great for farmers. How many months do you have the loan for? For now, we get the money for 6 months. If the loan period was for 1 year, it would be better for farmers. Thank you. I would like to ask some questions to a casual worker. My name is Ma Cho. What I’d like to ask is, how has the damage that occurred to the fields in this village affected casual labourers? For us casuals, work was better before since farmers could give us jobs. But now business for farmers is not good and they can’t give us jobs so we do random jobs. Is there any organization to loan money to casual workers in this village? There are no organization in this village, and none come from outside either. How do you get money then? When our family needs money, we have to borrow it with high interest rates from others. Tell me one thing that would benefit casual workers. For the poor like us, we would like cooperatives and a Poverty Reduction Committee to give us loans. Thank you for answering. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer on behalf of the poor. This village meeting will look at farmers’ needs. The paddy fields were flooded last month and some plants died. Now the rainy season is late due to weather changes and weevils are also a problem. You are all farmers on this side? Yes, we are farmers. Okay. So, we have here a list of farmers and you are all included? Yes, we are. Okay. It also lists the casual workers who are affected by this situation. Since this is an agricultural village located in the delta region, if business is bad for farmers, then it is bad for casuals workers too. Right? The report also states that when farmers have difficulties, they can’t keep on the casual workers. They.. how do we call it? .. they need to do other random jobs. They need to try to get some money. So, the casual workers are here too? Yes. Yes. The departments to ask for help are… The Cooperative departments that are helping casual workers. We need to report to them and ask for help. For the loans, we need to get in touch with the Agricultural Bank and report to them and also with other organizations for planting techniques For planting equipment, we will submit our report to the Ministry of Agricultural and Irrigation. I will follow all this up. We can finish now. Thank you. Thank you very much.