Kayah State Legislature Drafting New Law on Agricultural Loans

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The law aims to solve the problem of farmers who can’t borrow money because they lack legal ownership of their land.

By KANTARAWADDY TIMES

The Kayah (Karenni) State legislature is working on draft legislation that would ease the way for farmers to access agricultural loans, according to the head of a civil society organization (CSO) involved in the process.

“To solve the problems of farmers, we have been working on this since 2018. We have already drawn up a plan, and this year we started our research,” said KyawWunna Aung, the director of Law Home, a group that advises on legal issues.

Many farmers who need to borrow money lack proof of land ownership. Without a Form 7 to show that the land they are farming legally belongs to them, however, it is almost impossible for them to get an agricultural loan from the government.

To address this problem,the state parliament and CSOs have been working together on draft legislation that is still at its earliest stages.

“It’s still a zero-level draft,” KyawWunna Aung told Kantarawaddy Times. As part of the effort to draft the law, a “Zero-level Agriculture Savings and Loan Law-drafting Workshop” was held in the state capital Loikaw on July 10-11, attended by state government officials, MPs, and members of parliamentary working committees, as well as representatives of CSOs and non-governmental organizations.MP ThaeReh said that the law would likely benefit farmers, but only if they can find a market for their produce.

“I think that farmers can always find a way to get government loans even without a Form 7. But they will get caught in a vicious cycle of borrowing and repaying money unless they have somewhere to sell what they produce.

In my opinion, there is an even greater need to finda market for farm products,” ThaeReh, theMP for HprusoTownship, told Kantarawaddy Times.

Regarding the drafting of the law, Law Home and responsible officials will meet with local people at the State Hall in Loikaw onJuly 26.

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