Myanmar Spring Chronicle – November 24 Scenes
MoeMaKa, November 25 2022
Regions where rice and groundnuts are not allowed to be harvested
This is the season to harvest rain-fed rice in areas with high rainfall and to pull groundnut pods from the soil in areas with low rainfall. Due to the ongoing armed conflicts and 4-cuts blockade in many regions of Myanmar, there are many areas where local people are not allowed to harvest their rice fields, and there are also many areas where they cannot harvest groundnuts, even though it is time to harvest.
Farmers who planted rice invested labor, money, fertilizer, and the time required to irrigate the rice as needed from the time of plowing and seed sowing until the time of planting seedlings because it is cultivated seasonally. Like that, they worked for months. So, I don’t think it’s wrong if the situation of not being allowed to harvest during the rice harvest means a huge loss of their annual food, income and lives.
In a news article, we read that rice fields have ripened in some villages in Kyauk Taw Township, Rakhine State, and the residents will submit to the military council to be allowed to harvest rice. In the news in the past few days, there is news that the groundnut fields at Pakokku, Myaing and Yesagyo have not yet been able to be harvested. It is time to harvest groundnuts, and local farmers are worried about the loss if they are not harvested before the time is up.
In this situation, they are still unable to harvest due to the fear of artillery shells hitting the fields, shootings, and landmines exploding. In rural regions, they are still unable to harvest groundnuts due to the difficulty of hiring laborers, shootings, and junta column marching. These conditions are currently occurring in Magway Division, Sagaing Division, and Rakhine State. Wars are not only dangerous for civilians to be arrested and tortured for their lives, but there are also risks of famine due to the inability to farm and harvest, as well as the destruction of houses.
Myanmar’s political conflict, competition, civil war, economic crisis, and other conditions have alternated ups and downs throughout the period after independence. It has been under military rule for decades, with excessive extraction and sale of resources and incidents of people leaving to work abroad, and now, after a military coup, the situation has worsened to the point where even local farmers and peasants cannot continue farming.
Armed conflict, political instability, and foreign capital outflows, as well as hundreds of millions of people fleeing abroad, have been ongoing for more than a year since the military coup, and domestically, the coup has already had a major impact on employment opportunities and basic agricultural activities.
Myanmar is the only country in Southeast Asia that has not yet come out of the mire of armed conflict. It is becoming a country that is on the verge of failing, immersed in the midst of armed conflicts, refugee problems, rising human trafficking, and crime. To avoid this crisis, we must understand that the foresight of political and military leaders is critical, rather than relying solely on international pressure and decisions to solve the problem.