People ‘scramble’ for Sagaing land

Pe Nyein
Land in Natnan village, which many people are applying for.

Many people are trying to apply for ownership of vacant land plots in Homalin Township, Sagaing Region, according to a Lower House MP.

Homalin MP Myo Nyunt said: “This is just my assumption. Makkaloun, Natnan and Pinpapa villages have gold deposits. Many people have applied for the ownership of land in those villages. Although they said they wanted the land to grow perennial plants, only a few acres of the land have been cultivated.”

He added that he believes the main reason behind the scramble for Homalin is gold speculation.

Some agriculture companies do not grow anything but charge residents who graze their cattle and gather firewood.

“Some land owners captured grazing cows and asked for ransom from their owners. If they applied for land for farming, they must farm,” the MP said.

The vacant land management central committee allowed 104 organisations to farm on over 280,000 acres in Homalin, and 38 organisations reportedly grew crops on just 6,000 acres.

The regional government granted 10 businesspeople 131 acres after the law for vacant land management was adopted in 2012, and eight of them had farmed on just 81 acres.

Translated by Nay Thiha