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Myanmar: Villagers fleeing armed conflict in Kachin lose lands to Chinese banana plantations

"Chinese banana plantations flourish as villagers lose their land in Kachin", 22 June 2018

As residents in Kachin State flee from their homes due to fighting between the Tatmadaw (military) and the ethnic Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Chinese businessmen are planting tissue-culture bananas....

...Land is being lost...and it is increasingly difficulty to earn a living, the villagers said.

Officials of the company said that tissue-culture bananas are grown on more than 10,000 acres near Law Sar by a joint venture between China’s Zhen Xin Co. and Chang Yin Khu Development Co., which is locally owned. 

...Chinese companies use insecticides, weed killers and fertilisers on the bananas, and these are disposed of carelessly. This has led to the contamination of water in the area, resulting in the deaths of cattle and damage to the soil....

...Another difficulty that the villagers are facing daily is water. The Chinese growers are pumping water from the streams....

There are difficulties to take action against Chinese companies as they are doing their business under the protection of the armed forces, he said. 

Because of expansion of Chinese banana plantation areas at abandoned villages, the refugees are afraid that they have no more place to return to once the fighting ends....

 

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