The yield was low in villages, north of Shardaw Township this year due to low rains said Khu Meh Reh, Chief of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) in Shardaw Township.
“It has not been good this year. They (the local) are mostly hillside farmers. There are quite few irrigation farmlands. They grow sesame. So when it doesn’t rain, we lose a lot,” said Khu Meh Reh, Shardaw Township Chief, who conducted the field study.
Khu Meh Reh said some northern villages are struggling to make ends meet as only about a quarter of the crop was harvested annually.
Due to the low rain this year, the villages in the northeast such as Nang Oum Lay, Daw Ka Tel, Tay Lwel, Daw Leh Khu, and Nang Kyai Lay could not make any yield.
Daw Suu Myar, who lives in Daw Ei Sa village in Shadaw Township, said it was difficult because of poor agriculture.
“We can’t farm because there is no water in the irrigation farms. Thus we rely only on hillside farming. Farming is no longer enough. In previous years, we had water and farmed, so we had enough to eat. Now there is low rain and there is no water, so we cannot farm. The fields did not produce much yield because of the low rain. As we could not make the yield we supposed to have, so we do not have enough to eat,” Daw Suu Myar said.
Maw Meh Mo, Secretary of the Pray Soe Lay Youth Committee, said they are looking for a way to earn a living because of the shortages of food and shelter.
“The south is self-sufficient, but the north is not self-sufficient and the rain is not good, so this year it may only be self-sufficient for four or five months. For the rest of the month, they have to look for forest products in the forest and sell them, especially in the north, because the north is hotter and the rains are low. Paddy yields are not as good as in the south, but the south is self-sufficient for a year.”
Regarding to the hardship, Khu Meh Reh, the KNPP Township Administrator in Shardaw, said that the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) will use the information obtained from the field study to help the locals.
“We have to find someone who can help them. We will share the information we have gathered with people who can help. We will report to the organization department. And I hope our department can find it,” Khu Meh Reh said.
Shardaw Township is a stronghold of the ethnic armed group KNPP, with a population of just over 7,000.