Narinjara News

Akyab, February 22


Purchasing Rice by Credit for Army Ration

The Chairman of Ponna Kyunt Township Administration, Wai Myo Khaing ordered owners of rice mills and well known rice traders from Ponna Kyunt, a town 16 miles north of Akyab, to buy rice from farmers using a credit system, said one  rice mill owner.


The rice purchases in Ponna Kyunt are for army rations and total 60,000 Tinn (150,000 baskets), the target amount of Ponna Kyunt Townshipthat will be bought in this paddy season. The authority is buying the rice from the farmers with credit instead of paying for it up front.


"We are unable to get any money for the sale of paddy to traders," a farmer said, adding that the farmers are said to get money after the traders return to town from the army headquarters, where the traders send the paddy by boat.


According to a source, the traders are forced to send the rice from Ponna Kyunt to the army headquarters in Akyab by motorboat after it is purchased from local farmers. The army ration department will then pay the traders for the amount of rice brought.


In Ponnan Kyunt Township's rice market, the retail price of rice for 100 tinns is currently 150,000 Burmese Kyat, however the army has forced the traders to buy rice from the farmers for 123,000 Kyat.


Most Farmers don't want to sell their paddy at this lower price, but some farmers are selling their rice to traders for the price determined by Wai Myo Khing, for fear of army action against them.


The SPDC Government declared last year that the government would not buy rice from farmers in the future and that farmers would be able to sell their products wherever they desire.


In Arakan State, local farmers have never gotten the chance to sell their rice anywhere. There are a number of restrictions issued by the local authority especially for Arakanese farmers, one farmer said.


The authority’s purchasing of rice for army rations from farmers is not only occurring in Ponna Kyunt Township but also in Mun Bra, Mrauk oo, Pauk Taw and Kyauk Taw Townships, all of which are in rice bowl of Arakan State, said a trader. #



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