January 29, 2007


Myanmar leases shrimp farms to investors



Myanmar's Western Military Command in the Arakan state, which produces three-quarters of the shrimp in the country, is leasing more than 1,000 acreas of shrimp farms to local businessmen.


The shrimp farms are in Maungdaw Township, a western border town of Burma, but they are owned by the Western Military Command. The system of leasing shrimp farms to the private sector has existed since the authority forcibly confiscated the farms from local people. The military reportedly charges large sums of money from businesses who lease the farm. 


The military authority has a plan to increase the amount of each lease by 15 percent this year, but many lessees have adamantly refused to pay the extra 15 percent to the government due to the risk of profit loss, a businessman said.


In Arakan State, many of the 155,333 acres of shrimp farms are owned by local army battalions that confiscated the shrimp farms.