Myanmar: The Rice Planting Season is On!

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Ayeyarwady Region: The rice paddies start to become green as they get filled with newly-planted rice.

Myanmar, June 2016.  The monsoon rains arrived early this year.  And, like strokes applied from a giant paint brush, the colors and shades of the fields turned from earthen brown, to water-flooded surfaces mirroring the cloudy skies, to light to dark hues of yellow and green, dotted by colorful hats and longgyis  worn by dozens of farm workers who, in concert with the rains and floods, are making the transformation happen.  The rice planting season has begun in the floodplains of Ayeryarwady River of Myanmar.

planting season in Myanmar

Bago Region – At the foot of the Kyaukkyi mountains where conflict and fear had once ruled the land, a small army of peace-loving farm workers toil to plant as many rice paddies in a day.

planting season in Myanmar

From a long and tedious process of tilling the irrigated land, to sowing the seedling beds; the final step is to manually transplant the seedlings to the muddy soil in fully tilled and watered paddies.

planting season in Myanmar

A farm worker carries newly uprooted seedlings to be planted in another rice paddy while another worker tills a paddy with a tractor.

planting season in Myanmar

Except for some tilling functions which are done by mechanized tillers, the rest of the process are done manually, requiring several dozens of workers to plant a hectare of ricefield.

planting season in Myanmar

The main workforce for rice planting are women, mostly hired as casual labor by landowners.

planting season in Myanmar

A landowner leads his troop of rice planters to his farm.

planting season in Myanmar

Most of the rice planters are young mothers and housewives.

planting season in Myanmar

A group of rice planters take a lunch break by a stream.

planting season in Myanmar

And the planting work continues…..

planting season in Myanmar

Until the ricefields are fully planted and the farm workers can take a short break from farm work.

 

Note:  The succeeding photo series were all taken in these fields.