Chinese Banana Tissue plantation destroy environment

Soe Min Htaik
Caption: One of Chinese Banana Tissue plantations seen in Waimaw Township, Kachin State seen during March 2017 (Photo-Tun Lin Aung)

Chinese companies are now making huge investment in planting Banana Tissue plantations  in Waimaw Township, Kachin State. Chemical fertilizers used in the plantations greatly destroy soil and residents of  Kachin State are suffering disadvantages according to MP Naing Ko Ko from kachin Satate constituency (2).

“Many companies from China are making massive investments in planting Banana Tissue plantations in Waimaw , Myitkyina, Moe Mauk, Mansi, Bhamaw, Shwe Ku and Tawonyan Townships for a long time. Some are illegally carrying out and some are not. Illegal means Chinese owners connecting with authorities from respective region carried out illegal plantations. If the government couldn’t control these bananas tissue plantations owned by Chinese, there are a lot of bad consequences. Kachin people have to leave their homes and plantations due to internal conflicts. In their places what replaced now are enormous acres of Chinese owned banana plantations.  In 2006, under the title of poppy substitute plantation, there was a banana plantation in Waimaw Township. Now these Chinese owned banana plantations took place on more than 100,000 acres of land in entire Kachin State, Bhamaw, Moe Mauk, Mansi, Tone Phone Yan, Shwe Ku and to the border of Sagaing region,” said MP Naing Ko Ko from Kachin Satate constituency (2).

According to Lesu social organization who researched on plantations in 2017 stated that extreme use of chemical fertilizers insecticides, weed killers and unsystematic throwing of waste water destroy water resources, deaths of cows and buffalos, and destroy natural environment. It also found out that lack of enforcement of rules on farmland management and the government to investigate the Chinese-owned banana plantations on grounds of the public interest.

The fields stretch as far as the eye can see near the China-Myanmar border. Land is being lost to the expanding banana fields, and it is increasingly difficult to earn a living, the villagers said.

Because of expansion of Chinese banana plantation areas at abandoned villages, the refugees are afraid that they have no more place to return to once the fighting ends.

On August 2nd, 2018, Kachin State government arrested 21 vehicles which didn’t pay taxes, 7 vehicles with paid taxes on kan Paik tee road which lead to Kachin and China. On these vehicles were chemical fertilizers, insecticide, and 7 Chinese. By looking at this, Chinese are illegally entering Myanmar for uncountable times. Responsible officials and security officials should pay attention. Those who are responsible for security prevented Myanmar citizens for entering or passing these places but they give permission to Chinese for working banana plantation. It is unacceptable continued Naing Ko Ko.

Deputy Minister for agriculture and irrigation Hla Kyaw said in the Upper House that initial income tax 2 percent have to submit to internal revenue department in Myitkyina. Those unlawful plantations are examined by a group formed by Kachin State government.