Myanmar. Govt vows to end illegal rice trade


A SENIOR government official on Thursday vowed to eliminate the rampant trafficking of raw paddy to China.

U Aung Soe, secretary and director general of the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organisation, Ministry of Commerce, said the government will not stop until the illegal trade is eliminated.

“It is not legal, they are trafficking it. We are trying to stop it with all our might, along with cooperation of other respective departments,” he told The Myanmar Times on the sidelines of the Conference of Myanmar Trade Promotion Organisation held at the ministry on Thursday.

He said his office has enlisted the support of the Customs Department and the Myanmar Police in trying to put an end to the illegal activity.

“They (police and customs) are also making arrangements for it,” he said. “According to trade policy, export of rice after milling the paddy is allowed. But some merchants are doing things that shouldn’t be done.”

But for U Maung Soe, a Nay Pyi Taw farmer, the trafficking of raw paddy is a blessing to them as it pushes up the price of their produce.

“Only in this year can farmers smile. Last year, there wasn’t an ounce of motivation to work,” he said.

U Maung Soe said that in last year’s harvest season, the price of one hundred tins (a local measurement for grain which holds approximately a bushel) of raw paddy dropped below K300,000, but this year the price soared to between K500,000 and K600,000.

Various media reports indicate Chinese businessmen are entering the country to buy raw paddy.


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