Saturday, December 29, 2007

Burma: Ban on buying and selling of rice

Authorities in Arakan State have banned people from buying rice to stock up for 2008. Farmers cannot sell rice to the public either, according to an order issued in December 2007.

The authorities have ordered officers in the town not to allow people to carry rice from one town to another and not to allow them to buy rice to stock for rice mills or rice traders, said a rice trader from Akyab.

The authorities have also ordered officials to collect and buy rice from the farmers for the armed forces who are stationed in the area for the year 2008, said a said from arm force from Akyab.

In Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships, the order was issued in the first week of December. The people of Maungdaw town have started facing a shortage of rice after the order was issued.

The authorities of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) have requested to the higher authorities of Arakan State to allow carrying rice between these two townships, but it has not given its approval yet, said a closed aide from Maungdaw.

"We bought one kilogram of common rice at 350 Kyats on December 4, but now we are buying this rice at 550 Kyats. Rice is unavailable in Maungdaw Township after the ban on carrying rice from Buthidaung," said a daily labourer in Maungdaw.

"We can't sell our rice when ever we want to as the authorities have ordered us not to sell rice to any person except the government agent," said a farmer from Buthidaung.

Source: Kaladan Press Network