More than 50,000 farmers in cyclone-hit Myanmar will be unable to plant a new rice crop by August unless they receive immediate aid, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on June 18. In the first major assessment of the damage wrought by the May 2 cyclone on Myanmar’s rice bowl, the FAO said 570,000 hectares of land was submerged in 11 badly-affected townships surveyed by the UN agency and government officials. FAO specialist Albert Lieberg said that translated into a potential loss of 183,000 hectares of rice paddy, equivalent to 500,000 tons of rice or 2 percent of the country’s total output. (Reuters)

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