Hpruso Residents Share Farmland with Conflict-Affected Civilians

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Civilians unable to return to their farms after fleeing the conflict in Hpruso Township have started planting their crops on land provided by locals in areas that have been unaffected by the war that has impacted most of Karenni State.

“They allowed us to grow vegetables on their farm…without asking any money from us,” said a man sheltering in the south of the township. In some cases, the displaced are farming together with locals with the bounty being equally shared based on labour, he explained, adding that some of these farms are quite far from their camps. Still, he said, “Locals help us a lot,” the man said.

There are about 10,000 civilians from four village tracts and five wards who have taken shelter in the displaced camps in the township for three years. During this whole duration, they’ve been living quite precariously, relying on inconsistent donations, hence why they need to find alternatives in order to survive.

One concern is that most of them cannot afford to purchase fertilisers and they worry about their crop yield of paddy, nuts and maize will be too low.

“Some of the farms are on hills so even though we have permission from residents we can’t always grow crops there,” a woman pointed out.

According to an ex-government staff member from the agricultural land management department, there were 10,000 acres of rotating farms in Hpruso Township between 2022 and 2023, but farmers were only able to grow food on about one-third of this land.

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