Land slated for castor oil by junta to be returned
MANDALAY Region’s Cooperative Department will return 4300 out of more than 5500 acres of land, which were turned over to it by the thenjunta government in 2006, to its original farmers.
The former government had granted 5550 acres of land to the department to grow castor oil – 4500 acres in Pyin Oo Lwin township, 550 acres in Nyaung-U township and 500 acres in Pyinmana township. The department will give back 4300 of the 4500 acres of land in Pyin Oo Lwin to its original farmers, according to the cooperatives union in Mandalay Region.
“We have re-appropriated the remaining 200 acres to grow coffee and teak. We have enough capital to do those businesses,” U Tun Hlaing, vice chair of the Mandalay cooperatives union, told The Myanmar Times on November 8.
“For the lands to be given back to the farmers, it will be managed by authorities from the Land Records Department and the General Administration Department.”
The regional Cooperative Department had been growing castor oil on 1054 acres of the land – about 720 acres in Shwe Chaung village in Pyin Oo Lwin’s Myay Bone village tract and around 334 acres in Leik Kya village – at a cost of K68.2 million (US$53,000). It will spend K230 million to grow coffee and teak on the 200 acres of land that it will retain, according to figures provided by the cooperatives union.
Authorities including the Mandalay Region head of the Cooperative Department, the Pyin Oo Lwin township head of the department and the township’s administrator met with locals from Myay Bone village tract and conducted a field inspection of the land to be relinquished on October 31.
“We are glad to hear that the farmers will get back their lands,” lawmaker U Aung Min (NLD; Pyin Oo Lwin 1), a member of the regional legislature’s Farmland Scrutinising Committee, told The Myanmar Times on November 7. “But the real situation is that most lands are occupied. So we will give back the lands to the originally owning farmers who can show the required documents. Before that we will verify diligently.”
– Translation by Thiri Min Htun
A signboard asks people not to climb Pa Hto Taw Gyi after the 2012 Thabeikkyin earthquake.