Narinjara News



Arakanese farmers face troubles as paddy prices fall


Akyab, Sep 17: Arakanese farmers have been struggling for survival as paddy prices have recently fallen in Arakan State.


The price of 100 tinn, (250 baskets), of high quality paddy has fallen to 45,000 kyat from a recent price of 80,000 kyat and another lower quality paddy has fallen from 50,000 to 20,000 kyat.


It is first time the paddy price has fallen in Arakan State since the Burmese military seized control in 1988, said a trader from Maung daw.


"Last year Arakanese farmers were able to sell their paddy for anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 kyat for 100 tinns but this year the paddy prices have really fallen," said a farmer from Akyab district.


He said that since the Burma military cancelled government purchases of paddy from local farmers, the paddy price has steadily fallen. Though the government has stopped buying paddy, the authorities are not giving farmers the chance to travel to sell their product elsewhere. The authority also does not allow the purchasing of paddy by any

individual company that is not a government formed purchasing paddy committee.


The paddy purchasing committee that functions under the control of the government authority has not yet bought any paddy from farmers. There is speculation that they are attempting to fix paddy prices, and consequently force farmers to sell their product at a lower price.


At this time, the military authorities are also collecting agriculture loans in cash money, instead of in paddy, which was allowable last year. The loans included funding for the seed paddy of pure stock as well as for the agriculture loan for farmer of government.


"We want to give paddy to government as payment, but they are only collecting cash money. It is also another problem for farmers," said one farmer.


This crisis will likely cause problems into next year's paddy season, as farmers are unable to buy fertilizers and other necessities for their paddy farms, said a farmer from Akyab district.


"We have no ability to buy fertilizers for our paddy farms because we don't have enough money. The price of fertilizers is sky rocketing, but the paddy price is falling. If we are unable to put money back into our farms, paddy production will certainly be reduced this paddy season," the farmer concluded.


" The farmers are facing a lot of problems right now and there isn't any responsible person for the farmers in Arakan State. The preset military government is always thinking of how to oppress the farmers and how they can get benefits from the farmers" a retire teacher of Maung Daw Township added.




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