Chin state government to replace poppy by other crops

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In a move to eradicate opium cultivation, the Chin state government proposes to replace poppy plantations in Tonzang Township, where most such fields exist, by other kinds of crop plantations. The authorities are also making a list of farmers to provide them loans for alternative crop plantations since July 20.

“It is a good move by the government,” said an elder in Tonzang town.

The interest for the loan will be about 1.5 Kyat and the installment for the repayment will be spread over seven years. Over 4,000 persons have already enrolled for getting loans. In Tonzang town, about 50 people own poppy plantations.

“We don’t know when the loan will be available, but applications are still being received,” said a local.

Meanwhile the Chin state government is planning to provide loans to the tune of Kyat 7 lakhs per acre for cultivation of East Indian arrowroot and Kyat 4 lakhs per acre for Parkia-Roxburghii.

“These are the government’s current programmes,” said a local.

The current market price of arrowroot (green) is Kyat 300 per kilogram, while it is Kyat 1,000 per kilogram for dry arrowroot. A Parkia Roxburghii tree can cost between Kyat 10,000 and 15000, while the fruits are for Kyat 1,000 per kilogram.

Although the state government plans to provide loans for agricultural plantations, there is no detailed information on the loan scheme.

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