Tender Crops Destroyed:

The Farmers’ Plight in Tamenglong



In the turmoil that is North American Life, we often miss out on what is going on in other parts of the world. The air waves and the internet come to life over politics, the economy and health care. It’s an election year, we know.

What I did not expect to see was a piece about some farmers who will have no food this winter. It came along with the other pest control news and I just didn’t know how to look at it, how to grasp the concepts. They measure by tins and kilograms and distance is in kilometers. I remember the math but it doesn’t compute so I have to go and search for “paddy” and learn that it’s rice in the husk or in the field. If a kilometer is 0.62 miles then 40-50km would be a 24 to 31 mile walk. I find that a kilogram is 2.2 pounds. Now I can understand the problem faced by these farmers in Manipur, a state in India, in Southeast Asia.

Rats have become a problem due to agricultural problems that started several years ago. A previous rat infestation left their fields barren and the farmers couldn’t cultivate the land for the next year’s crop. When the farmers harvest rice a portion is thrown back; that gives nutrients back to the land for the next year. Rice paddies are very marshy lands, always wet. The rice is very delicate and has to be coaxed from the ground. The rats have eaten the crop and the farmers don’t even have enough to cultivate the land much less enough to eat. To top this off their vegetables have been washed away by flash floods.

Where they would normally collect 50 to 100 tins they may collect one. I still don’t know what measure a tin is. In order to forestall a famine the only option for these villagers is state help which involves walking 40 to 50 km (24-31 miles) to carry 30-40 kg (66-88 pounds) of rice on their backs; this has apparently been going on for years. Since a season when the crops were destroyed and the land wasn’t nourished their harvests have been less than their needs. Bamboo has multiplied and that meant more rats. It’s a vicious cycle.

What could have been done is a moot point for these farmers now; it’s a matter of caring for them and providing for their future by giving them more than just food for their bellies this year. It’s about an operation of rebuilding the paddies and getting rid of the bamboo; decimating the rat population for next year. I’ll keep an eye on this one to let you know how this is handled in Manipur.

Ecology hangs in this delicate balance that the Scandinavians call “the growth of the soil.” Land can’t produce if it isn’t allowed to lay fallow for a number of seasons, or it must be fed. Pest populations grow and overtake areas that are not properly treated; we can see that just by looking at the number of pests that infest abandoned areas. It’s as if they must get rid of what’s left.

For us, we should count ourselves lucky. We have a local pest control in Arizona that can help us avoid infestations. Protection barriers are the best way to prevent damage to your home and property.



Mesa AZ –

Termite Control Arizona

MESA, AZ 85210-2064

(480) 582-0996