Cyclone-hit farmers in Myanmar warned against using pesticide to kill snails[11-13-2008]
Agricultural specialists have warned farmers against using pesticides to kill an unidentified freshwater snail species that have been damaging crops in southern Myanmar.
Farmers have already resorted to chemical pesticide, only to have everything, including fish and crabs, killed in the process.
Pioneer Post Harvest Development Group, a semi-governmental organization, said that farmers should check what pesticide they have used and its active ingredients. Pesticide residues have been proven harmful to humans.
Meanwhile, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) suggested a mechanical way to get rid of the snails.
Myanmar's Yangon University, on the other hand, said that hand-picking the snail is still the safer solution as agricultural experts try to identify the snail species.
Farmers cited that the invasive species of snails --- either a Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea
Canaliculata) or Malaysian Trumpet Snail (Melanoides Tuberculata) --- were washed up by the sea's tidal surge submerging more than 783,000ha or 63 per cent of rice paddies in the affected areas.
The snails are said to have devastated rice fields by feeding on the base of paddy seedlings, plant leaves and stems. The snails are also capable of consuming the young plants overnight.
Myanmar was devastated by Cyclone Nargis in May 2008
Source:SA Grassroots Action (SAGA)