Min Aung, Consultant and Ye Min Aung, Secretary General, Myanmar Rice Federation, Yangon, Myanmar
“HOPPER RACE” is an award winning documentary film about the rice brown planthopper outbreaks and how they affect farmers. It was produced by Ms Juka Kawaai a producer in TV environment Japan (TVE) in collaboration with IRRI and ADB. In June 2013 the film was awarded the prestigious Matsukawa Award for Best Short Documentary. A “versioning” workshop was held with several national film makers to translate and adapt the film for local audiences. The first version to be completed and was aired nationwide was Vietnam where the 10 chapters were translated into Vietnamese and broadcast nationally over VTV 2. In June 2013, the Khamer version was broadcast over national TVK (TV Khampuchea).
The trailer of the English version is available on YouTube.
In Myanmar the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) completed the translation of Hopper Race into Burmese. Working with Yezin Agricultural University Hopper Race will be aired in the “Farmer Channel” of the Ministry of Agriculture and irrigation (MOAI). In Yangon Hopper Race will be on SKY-NET TV.
IRRI in collaboration with MOAI organized the “Rice Sector Strategy Planning Workshop” in Nay Phi Taw September 9 – 10, 2013. In his keynote address, Dr Robert Zeigler, Director General of the International Rice Research Institute, emphasized that Myanmar has the opportunity to avoid the pitfalls of insecticide misuse that have caused massive planthopper outbreaks in China, Thailand, Indonesia and several rice growing countries in Asia. With economic reforms occurring rapidly in Myanmar it is important for MOAI to take a hard look at the pesticide laws, revise them as necessary and establish government structures to strictly implement pesticide marketing regulations as pesticide misuse is caused by weak marketing regulations . This is especially the case when farmers have been observed to start prophylactic spraying in newly transplanted rice crops.