By Kantarawaddy Times
The rice farmers of Hpruso have only been able to cultivate half of their land after the war in Karenni State forced the township’s men and women to go into hiding last year. Now they’re wondering how they’re going to survive the next year without anything to eat and sell.
According to a 2009 census, 31,000 people were living in the township at the time, and over 6,000 people have been displaced by the conflict since last year’s coup.
The Burma Army’s Light Infantry Battalions 428 and 531 frequently clash with the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force, the Karenni Army and the People’s Defence Force in the township. There’s also a junta military school in Hpruso town.
Of the 20,000 acres of farmland in Hpruso Township, half lies fallow, explains a farmer who wishes to remain anonymous. In particular, Myoma and Hteepawso village tracts were especially hard hit by the clashes, forcing many people to flee into the jungle, he said.
As many of them grow vegetables near their paddy fields, the cultivation of these products has also drastically decreased. Since most people in Hpruso Township are farmers, the impact of this agricultural disaster will be enormous.
The displaced population in Kaylya, Doe Pareh and western Moso village tracts have managed to grow some rice on rotating plots, but not enough to compensate for their losses since the outbreak of war in the township.