Corn Farmers in Eastern Loikaw Suffered Loess Due to No Corn Buyers. 

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By Kantarawaddy Times, 

16, February 2024.

Corn Farmers in the east of Loikaw Township are suffering losses as there are no buyers due to the fighting, local farmers said.

Since fighting broke out in Loikaw city in November 2023, corn marketing and millet trading have been suspended, and there are no more corn brokers and corn marketing available. As a result, the farmers went to Hsi Hseng Township in neighboring Shan State to sell their corn products, but as fighting has also broken out in Hsi Hseng Township since January, there are no buyers either, a local farmer said. 

Some farmers who planted corn this year have managed to sell their crops, but many others have not been as fortunate. Only a few farmers have found buyers for their corn, leaving the majority with unsold produce stored in their homes. Despite harvesting their corn, many farmers have struggled to sell it this year. The ongoing conflict in Hsi Hseng, Shan State, has disrupted transportation routes and made it difficult for buyers to access the corn. With almost all corn markets closed due to the conflict, farmers who haven’t been able to sell their produce are facing significant losse

Since November 2023, farmers have begun to sell corns (dry seeds and wet seeds). Most farmers in eastern Loikaw rely on corn production as their main source of income. Due to the high costs of production, such as seeds, fertilizers, cultivation, and labor, farmers often take out loans to cover these expenses. As a result, farmers have been facing difficulties when they were unable to sell their corns.

Corn prices (dry seed) reached around 1,000 kyat per (1 KG) last year. This year, wet corn prices are at 650 kyat (per 1 Kg), and dried corn prices range from 850 to 1,000 kyat (per 1 KG). Due to the higher prices, farmers have been cultivating more corn than even last year.

“Farmers planted corns this year, anticipating that the prices would be as good as last year. Farmers had planted over 10 or even 20 packs of corn seed per household, which is a lot. There are also farmers who had to take out loans to cover the cost of fertilizers and seeds. Farmers have heavily relied on corns as their main livelihood. If they can’t sell their corns, they won’t be able to repay their debts and will face difficulties,” said a local farmer.

One pack of corn seeds cost around 10,000 kyat, and at least one family in eastern Loikaw city has bought about 10 sacks. Consequently, a corn farmer lost around 15 million kyat as they have not yet been able to sell their crop.

In the eastern part of Loikaw city, farmers cultivate corn as their primary cash crop annually. Alongside corn, they also grow rice, peanuts, and sesame for their own consumption

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