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Myanmar

NAY PYI TAW, Oct. 16, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Myanmar Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation U Htay Oo said on Saturday that the country's rice supply in general exceeds local demand as a whole.

Htay Oo made the remarks at the World Food Day commemorative ceremony held in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw.

Of Myanmar's 23 million hectares' total areas of farmland, 8 million hectares are put under paddy, producing 20 million tons of rice, he said.

"In Myanmar, rice production is still increasing faster than demand contributing not only for local consumption but also for world food supply," he noted, adding that programs for food security were carried out regionwise, but some states and regions have yet to try to meet their rice sufficiency level.

Read more: Myanmar's rice supply exceeds local demand

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CLIMATE change could be behind the recent migration of rats in Bago Division, a weather expert said at a recent seminar in Yangon.

Beginning in late June, thousands of black rats (Rattus rattus) began migrating from jungles in Bago Division to areas near human settlements, consuming paddy and other crops. Residents in affected regions said it was the first time they had seen the black rat in such prodigious numbers.

Dr Tun Lwin, a former director general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, said he believed the rat migration was the result of a lack of rain in the early monsoon period and reflected a long-term trend of changing monsoon patterns.

Read more: Late monsoon could have triggered rat swarm: expert

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A comprehensive new study of the effects of climate change has found "undeniable" evidence that the earth is warming, and its effects on our oceans appears far worse than first acknowledged.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report, which used 303 scientists from 48 countries to examine 10 different indicators, points to "unmistakable" evidence that we are in the grips of catastrophic climate change.But the extent of damage done to ocean life has now been made clear: another study published in US journal Nature found that 40 percent of the world's plankton has died off since the 1950s as a result of being unable to adjust to warming seas, a result of man-made greenhouse gases. Phytoplanktons are tiny plants that suck up much of the world's carbon dioxide and emit an estimated 50 percent of our oxygen.

Read more: Grim warning sounded on climate change

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