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.
Company says it will invest part of the new $275 million into its cow farms, raising its current herd of 30,000 cows to 200,000. Another part will be used to pay debts and for its palm oil projects.
Two Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar and Cambodia, have declared to participate in the global rice business through foreign investors from Middle East, China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
Myanmar may go back to being one of the world's major rice exporters in five to 10 years, as many Thai and foreign investors are looking to expand in rice mills and farms in the country.
The draft National Land Use Policy has created widespread discontent in Myanmar. It is only positive for those who may seek to acquire land for business purposes and have security in their investments.
"We are in the middle of a land-grabbing storm.” Draft land use policy dismays farmers and ethnic minority groups
The Ethnic Community Development Forum (ECDF) released a statement on Thursday which slammed Burma’s draft National Land Use Policy for failing to protect small-scale farmers and ethnic minorities.
Groups say draft law prioritizes and gives special privileges to business investors, which could spark more land grabs and create more land problems within the country.
Policies to generate foreign investment and commodity exports are imposing heavy costs on communities, such as land grabs, loss of livelihoods, lack of food security, and degradation of the environment and biodiversity.
Millions of small-scale farmers in Burma risk losing land under proposals to regulate land use which focus too much on investment and not enough on people’s livelihoods.
Over 1,000 farmers staged a protest on Saturday over the government’s failure to prevent or adequately resolve land grabs.
Union of farmers and agriculture workers says the 2012 farmland law favours businessmen rather than small scale farmers