Narinjara news

Rice Price goes up in Western Burma


Maungdaw, 4 November 02:  The price of rice, the staple food of Burma, has gone up once again in Rakhine State in  the western part of Burma, according to our correspondent.  The price of a 50 kilo bag of fine rice sells at kyat 25,000 while the coarse variety sells at 16,000 kyat at Maungdaw, the town bordering with Bangladesh.

Many of the travellers who can cross the border to the nearby Bangladeshi town of Teknaf across the Naaf River take back up to 20 kilos of rice on their return home.  Though rice was previously used to be smuggled or exported to Bangladesh from Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships, the scarcity of rice in the area has been caused due to the Burmese junta’s ban on transportation of rice to Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships from inside the Rakhine State.

The BDR, Bangladeshi border security forces, also allow the Burmese tourists to carry small amounts of rice on humanitarian ground, it is understood.  The price of a bag of rice in Teknaf is about kyat 12,600 which is equal to taka 700.  Previously the price of rice in Teknaf was about taka 550, which shot up to taka 700 as the Burmese rice no more gets smuggled into the country. 

The poorer section of the people in Maungdaw have now to eat the sticky rice gruel as the bag of sticky rice is selling at kyat 12,500 in the open market. 

As there is a scarcity of rice in the area, farmers are forced by the Burmese military junta officials to harvest even the hardly ripe rice from the fields to meet the acute rice shortage.    Every day only 200 bags of rice are brought in by the junta officials for the consumption of the army personnel in the area.  There is no quota of rice for the civilian population in the two townships bordering with Bangladesh, apparently due to rice shortage in the interior areas of the country, which has caused the recent famine in the area, our correspondent concluded. #