Villagers say they were not consulted about plans to turn their land into grazing grounds and believe it was a ploy by officials who planned to profit from renting out 300 acres to a Chinese company for a banana plantation.
A 2015 report said Kachin, Myanmar's northernmost state bordering China, has the second largest number of land confiscations, fuelled by the outgoing semi-civilian government liberalisation policies that have driven up land prices and attract foreign and domestic investment.
The head of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, Doan Nguyen Duc, now owns 46,000 ha of rubber, 10,000 ha of sugar cane and 6,000 ha of corn in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar and plans to raise 236,000 cows in Laos.
Myanmar government has been allocating land for large-scale private agricultural businesses in the country’s biodiversity-rich forests at an alarming rate. Between 2010 and 2013, the area of land marked for commercial agriculture has increased from nearly 2 million acres to 5.2 million acres.