Myo Myint, IPM Team Leader, International Development Enterprise, Yangon, Myanmar
K.L. Heong, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines
In March 2009 about 8100 ha in Bogalay were heavily infested by BPH and a loss of 20,900 tons was estimated. This year in February an area of about 10 ha was completely destroyed by BPH. Farmers in the area started spraying their fields with cypermethrin and diazinon. It is likely that these farms suffered hopperburn because they were vulnerable at the time of a sudden mass displacement of BPH migrants. Are these BPH outbreaks related to the outbreaks in Central Thailand? In 1998 about 18,200 ha in Khayan and Thongekhwa, Yangon Division were infested and this was also during the time of the BPH outbreaks in Central Thailand in 1998. The Central Plains in Thailand is less than 600 km from Yangon and there are probably prevailing westward winds. There is however insufficient data in Myanmar to explore this relationship further.
The Myanmar Agriculture Service (MAS), the Myanmar Rice Industry Association (MRIA) and IRRI recently organized a one day workshop in Yangon to explore for ecological solutions to restore biodiversity and ecosystem services to prevent future BPH outbreaks. Farmers in Myanmar (about 58%) believe that BPH causes the most serious losses. The tri partite workshop was initiated by Dr Larry Wong, advisor to MRIA, to introduce ecological engineering techniques to Myanmar. MRIA, a newly established organization charged with the responsibility of “bringing Myanmar back to her glory days as a major rice exporter” (Yewin Aung, MRIA Secretary General).
About 90% of farmers in Myanmar use insecticides and in the last 5 years insecticides used in rice has increased about 4 folds. Many of the insecticides used were resurgence causing like deltamethrin, cypermethrin and furadan.