Instability May Hurt Agriculture in Arakan State

Pauk Taw: Farmers are still unable to start plowing their fields despite that the cultivation season has already arrived in Arakan State, where the majority of people depend on agriculture for their livelihood, reportedly because of the recent unrest that is occurring in the region.

“Now the rainy season has already come and this is the time for us to plow our farms. But we have not started our work yet. We have to do our cultivation according to the season in our region, and if we delay, we face so many difficulties in our business,” said a farmer from Ngakhurhay Village in Pauktaw Township.

He said the administrator of his village has prohibited the farmers from starting their work, saying that the situation is still not stable in their region.

“Our village administrator, U Maung Thar Tun, does not allow us to plow our farms and asked us to stay at home for protecting the village, saying that the situation in our region is still unstable. There is nothing to worry about in our area, but we are not allowed to do our jobs and we may face trouble with our farming,” he said.

He added that the prohibition has sparked dissatisfaction against the administrator among farmers in his village. It was also learned that farmers in other areas swept by unrest are similarly unable to start their farming.

“The farmlands nearby the village in our area are now being plowed to start the paddy cultivation. But it is not possible for us to start our cultivation on the far-off farmland. So, most of the farmers here have to wait for the totally calm situation to start their business,” said a farmer from Theintaung in Rathidaung Township.

According to the farmers, over 90 percent of the population in Arakan State earns their livelihood through farming, and most of them are still unable to start their cultivation due to the recent unrest in the state. They are wishing strongly for peace and stability to be immediately restored in Arakan.