(14 November 2017)
Arrangements made to systematically harvest ownerless monsoon paddy, sell and return money to original owners
1. To harvest the monsoon paddy belonging to the villagers who have fled their respective villages in Maungtaw Township, the Rakhine State Government formed a Custodian Committee and made arrangements to harvest 45286 acres of monsoon paddy with 44 harvesters beginning from 28 October to ensure that the ripened monsoon paddy would not go to waste. As of 13 November, 1714.24 acres have been harvested.
2. In this harvesting operation, 48.6 acres from Kankyataung village of Myothugyi village tract, 26 acres from Razabi village, 24.5 acres from Thaungpaing Nya village, 327.5 acres from Kanpuu village of Kanpuu village tract, 476.2 acres from Kyaungtaung village of Kyaungtaung village tract, 128.9 acres from Ohntaw village, 203.32 acres from Nwayone Taung village of Nwayone Taung village tract, 225.7 acres from Aleithan-kyaw village of Aleithankyaw village tract, 198.82 acres from Thandar village of Thandar village tract, 9.7 acres from Kyiganpyin village of Kyiganpyin village tract, and 45 acres from Myinhlut village of Myinhlut village tract were harvested. This yielded in total 65,628 baskets of paddy.
3. The harvested paddy will be threshed and this monsoon paddy will be sold and the money obtained will be put in a government bank account. This money will not be used for development projects in Maungtaw region but arrangements are being made to return this money to those who have fled their villages upon their return. In order to harvest the remaining 2875.69 acres of monsoon paddy as quickly as possible, 25 more harvesters have been added and a total of 69 harvesters are now in operation. It has been learnt that since it is difficult to keep the harvested paddy in storage, the paddy has been sold in the local market at the prevailing price and arrangements are made to keep the money in proper custody.
4. Therefore, we wish to state that the news saying that ownerless paddy in Maungtaw region will be harvested, sold and then the proceeds put into the government budget is not correct.