Narinjara news


Rice purchase for the year 2003 in Rakhine State

Sittwe, 23rd  December 02
:  The Burmese junta, SPDC, have stuck notices on boards in the agriculture corporation offices and at rice purchase depots asking the relevant officials to collect rice worth US$ 270 million from across Rakhine State in the western part of Burma, according to our correspondent. 

Beginning September 15th the junta officials have ordered the rice growers to harvest rice.  The farmers and rice growers have been issued orders not to harvest even an acre of rice without the prior permission of the relevant Village Peace and Development Council (Yayaka) – the village level administrative body of the Burmese junta.  The Yayaka members have been engaged to supervise the day-to-day harvesting process, keeping records of how much has been harvested.

All the privately owned rice mills, big and small, in the state have also been ordered closed since the beginning of this year’s rice season.  Just a handful of privately owned rice mills that have good relations with the military intelligence personnel have been reportedly operating under the blanket ban. 

The price of rice in the open market is about five times more than what the junta officials pay to the rice growers, which is plain exploitation, a rice farmer told our correspondent.  At present 100 tin of rice sells at kyat 150,000 in the open market, while the Burmese junta officials pay kyat 35,000 for the same. 

The average per acre produce of rice is less than 28 tinns, while the rice growers have to sell 12 tinns of rice to the junta appointed rice collectors.  Besides that the farmers have also been ordered to sell all the rice that they think more than the amount required by the family of the farmers’ consumption, a rice grower said.

Ninety percent people of
Rakhine State earn their livelihood through rice growing since the state is hopelessly underdeveloped and there has been no industrialization even after more than half a century of independence.  The official order will make the life of the rice growers not only miserable but also vulnerable to the worst state-sponsored exploitation, a retired public official said. #