Thursday, 26 April 2018
Maungdaw, Arakan State: Nasaka Burma’s Border Security Force has been distributing black pepper saplings to villagers in Maungdaw Township since August 9 for growing it their compounds, said a farmer from on condition of anonymity.  Each family is being charged Kyat 1,000.

Three black pepper saplings were distributed to every family in the southern side of Maungdawby after forcibly taking Kyat 1,000 per family through the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) members.

"Nasaka distributed three black pepper saplings to every family through VPDC members and forcibly took Kyat 1,000 from each family, on August 9," a villager from "Gawdhu Tharya" village in Maungdaw said.

Some villagers refused to take the saplings, but they were forced. Even the poor widows had to take the saplings after paying.

The authorities have been trying to grow black pepper saplings in Arakan State over the last two years.  But, most of the saplings were destroyed. As such the villagers are not keen to take the saplings and suffer losses.

"Why do the authorities impose such projects on villagers in Arakan State where black pepper cultivation is not suitable," said a village elder referring to the earlier failure of black pepper crop.