‘There business will be good, but we will suffer a lot,’ a village headman says.
By KANTARAWADDY TIMES
Locals and civil society organizations in Karenni (Kayah) State have objected to a pig farm run by a Dutch company, citing a lack of transparency in the project.
The Netherlands-based De Heus Myanmar Co., Ltd. signed a 50-year contract with the Karenni State government in support of the long-term agricultural initiative, which has been described as the biggest livestock farm in the state. De Heus has reportedly begun construction of buildings for the project on nearly 11 acres of land plots, just one mile from Dawkalo Du village in Demoso Township’s Ngwe Tawng village tract.
Dawkalo Du village headman Hpoe Reh Ba Aye told Kantarawaddy Times that he and other community members felt uninformed about what the project would entail, and was only consulted once.
“I heard that this pig farm would produce bad smells. Their business will be good, but we will suffer a lot,” he said.
Hpoe Reh Ba Aye said that he was also worried about how the commercial pig farming would affect the market for local pig rearing.
Kyaw Htin Aung, a board member of the Lain Technical Support Group, agreed that locals should have been more comprehensively consulted.
“They need to transparently explain this project to local people before they start it. Their procedure is not systematic. I don’t think local people will get anything from this project,” he explained. “In my opinion, this project does not local people because it will use many resources.”
Vice chairperson of Karenni State’s consumer affairs department U Khin Maung Myint explained that one reason for supporting the initiative is the tax revenue it will bring in for the state government.
“Mostly, pigs are illegally imported from Thailand. That’s why we officially permitted this pig farm project in Kayah State,” U Khin Maung Myint told Kantarawaddy Times.
De Heus has reportedly invested US$3.2 million in the project so far. After the completion of the buildings outside of Dawkalo Du village, the pig farming will commence.