When brown lesions and spots started showing up on their crops and spreading across acres of rice fields in Dedaye township, Ayeyarwady Region, back in 2014, farmers thought it was a pest or insect attack and doused the crops with pesticide.

“Some farmers used large quantities of the most potent pesticides they could find in Myanmar, wiping out not just the entire rice field but also the birds that fed on the crops as well,” said Ko Thein Soe Min, co-founder and director of innovation of Green Road, a Myanmar agri-tech company.

 

As it turned out, the crops had been hit with rice blast disease, which is caused by the Magnaporthe oryzae fungus.

 

According to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development of Australia, the disease is considered one of the biggest problems faced by rice growers worldwide because of its extensive distribution and destructiveness under the right conditions,  view more


16 Jan, 2020 mmtimes