Road construction destroys winter cultivation farms

16 January 2013

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The construction road – highway- made by authority is destroying most of Rohingya winter cultivation farms in Maungdaw south, according to a local businessman.

“The road – from Maungdaw north to south- is going near the mountain side where most of the Rohingyas grow winter season crops – potato, chili, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, radish, carrot, tomato, water melon and etc.. “

According to sources, over five acres of winter cultivation farms were already destroyed by the road construction using bulldozer and grader.

“Some Rohingya farmers of Khonza Bill and Udaung villages under Maungdaw north grew different items in the winter season crops, but their farms were destroyed by road construction equipment.”
A farmer said from Udaung village on condition of anonymity, “My chili and potato farms were destroyed by the road construction equipment. It will harm us to stock crops for raining season and may be the areas will be shortage winter crops in this year. I am not sure how to feed my family.”
The farmer also said, “We – Rohingya people – had not able to cultivate paddy in the rainy season because of sectarian violence between Rohingyas and Rakhines in June 2012. The government had restricted our movement during raining season and not able to grow paddy. Now, we are facing shortage foods in summer, how we survive in the raining season.”
Thousands of Rohingyas have no jobs in the winter as security personnel are harassing to extort money over false allegation, said another farmer.
The villages from Maungdaw north believe that more than 30 acres of winter season farms will be destroyed by the road construction, said a local elder.

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